Funding goes to elk feeding program

MLA Bill Bennett announces $40,000 that will go to the Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund to feed elk and ungulates.

Elk and other ungulates around the region are facing a tough winter with heavy snowfall.

Elk and other ungulates around the region are facing a tough winter with heavy snowfall.

With one of the harshest winters in recent memory, the government has stepped up with $40,000 that will be given to a wildlife conservation organization for an elk feeding program.

The Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund (KWHF) will use the funding to purchase hay which will be distributed in strategic locations throughout the region. The feeding program will complement what volunteers are already doing and is supported by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

“I have hunted here for almost 25 years and I know our elk and deer numbers are down,” said Kootenay East MLA Bill Bennett. “With ungulate populations already weakened by too many predators, we need to do everything we can to hold on to the elk and deer that are struggling.”

Bennett says that government is working closely with the BC Wildlife Federation on an improved wildlife management model, along with local stakeholders, hunters and conservationists.

“Hunters and others who love wildlife can help professional wildlife managers make the most effective decisions and frankly, that doesn’t always mean closing areas and making parks,” said Carmen Purdy, the president of the KWHF.