For the Townsman
A coalition of First Nation, hunting, environmental and outdoor based groups have collaborated to sponsor a Wildlife Management Roundtable to be held March 11 at the Heritage Inn in Cranbrook from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
All groups involved are putting any differences aside in pursuit of a common goal to have wildlife management made a priority in the province and improve wildlife populations.
The forum will provide current information to both the general public and the political candidates vying for the two available seats in the Kootenay East and Columbia Ridings in the upcoming election on May 9.
The event is being spearheaded by the British Columbia Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.
“There is no question that that we need to make wildlife management a priority in this province,” said chairman Bill Hanlon.
“We cannot continue watching the decline in ungulate populations year after year and do nothing about it. This forum is likely going to be the most important round table on wildlife management in recent history in the Kootenays.
“I think the people who attend, including the political candidates, are going to find that it will be an interesting information filled afternoon. Some of the facts presented however, will shock some people.
“All of us need to get together and make a statement here to whichever government gets elected on May 9. That message is — We need to make wildlife management a priority.”
The organizations involved include the British Columbia Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, the Southern Guide Outfitters, Wildsight, Ktunaxa Nation Council, Elk Valley Rod and Gun Clubs, East Kootenay Wildlife Association and the Shuswap Band.
The non-partisan moderator for the afternoon will be Dennis Walker. Walker will have a 10 to 15 minute introduction and co-ordinated power point presentation on the current state of the wildlife resource in the East Kootenay and the province. He will then introduce the group chairs and political candidates.
All of the groups involved will have five minutes each to present their separate viewpoints on the state of the wildlife resource and management in B.C. All of the political candidates present will then have an opportunity to make their comments known to the people attending the forum.
Organizers want to make it clear that this is not a political forum, but the public will be afforded the opportunity to make their views known via comment cards and an email website which will be provided at the conclusion of the event. All comments will be forwarded to the candidates.
“Healthy wildlife populations are important to all of us in the Kootenays, regardless of political stripe,” said Wildsight’s Robyn Duncan, “and we need to work together to tackle threats to our ecosystems.”
The Wildlife Management Roundtable on March 11 at the Heritage Inn in Cranbrook is FREE to the public.
For more information or comments contact Bill Hanlon at 250-425-7231 or Robyn Duncan at 250-427-9325 ext 210.