Letters to the Editor: February 21

I don't believe that we currently have wildlife management; Carbon tax needed more than ever

No wildlife management at all

I believe that the title of Barry Vandaelle’s excellent letter to the editor on 2017.02.15 (Wildlife Management) was mislabelled. I say this because I don’t believe that we currently have wildlife management.

To have management of anything, proper data is needed. In the case of wildlife, there is a need for feet on the ground and eyes from the air on a consistent basis before decisions are made. Do our managers have the resources and a complete lack of political interference to make sound decisions on all wildlife species? Likely not; when they continue to allow general open seasons on cow and calf elk, and doe and fawn whitetail deer. Decisions like these defy logic to me. Who is it in government or otherwise that continues to condone and sanction the senseless slaughter of these species through liberalized hunting seasons. I won’t get into the issues with caribou, moose, sheep, predators and the list goes on.

I believe that when a government really drops the ball, they have a third party act as a buffer for their incompetence; locally, highway maintenance comes to mind. Many citizens in the East Kootenay (and province-wide) have concerns regarding our wildlife mismanagement and I can’t help but wonder how the government will try to wiggle out of their responsibilities/accountabilities on this one — i.e.; will they pass the responsibility on to a third party? Furthermore, is it just a coincidence that in the year of an election that they see the need for more park rangers, and additional funding for caribou, just to mention two — hmm!

I don’t think that Barry and I are the only ones losing sleep over the steady decline of our wildlife; the testament to that may be discovered on March 11 at the Heritage Inn in Cranbrook from 1 pm to 3 pm. At that time a Wildlife Management Roundtable is going to take place as a collaboration of conservation groups will hopefully be aligning their common interests to make wildlife management a priority in British Columbia which it is obviously anything but, at present.

It will be interesting to see what common concerns are raised by Environmental Groups (represented by Wildsight), the First Nations, and Hunting and Fishing Groups (Back Country Hunters and Anglers, East Kootenay Wildlife Association, Southern Guides and the Elk Valley Rod & Gun Clubs). In addition, I am told that declared candidates for the upcoming provincial election in both the Kootenay East and Columbia-River Revelstoke ridings will have an opportunity to provide their perspectives.

The focus of the round table will be to present and focus on the issues at hand but not to provide the solutions at this time. It is expected that because of the emotional sensitivity of the subject itself, that there will be a large media presence at the event. Let’s hope so, and that the roundtable here can act as a template for concerned citizens in other regions of the province. I am certain that we are not alone on this issue.

I sincerely hope that there is a large turn-out of the general public to demonstrate how concerned really are — we hunters and non-hunters alike — and at the end of the day, our fast diminishing wildlife resources can benefit from the important and relevant issues raised by the various groups.

I look forward to the day that the East Kootenay can again be called the Serengeti Plains of North America.

I hope to see you at the Round Table.

Wayne Pelter/Kimberley

Carbon tax needed more than ever

Re: Voter’s Guide to Carbon Taxes (B.C. Views, Feb. 8).

At a time when addressing climate change is at its most urgent, Tom Fletcher implies that human-caused climate change is “propaganda.” His views fly in the face of the overwhelming scientific consensus, as well as many globally esteemed organizations, such as the United Nations, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank.

We are at a time in history that if we don’t rapidly reduce our carbon emissions, we are committing our children and grandchildren to a world with ever more extreme forest fires, drought, severe weather, sea level rise and ocean acidification. A refugee crisis of an extent never seen before will happen at a time when our world population peaks. The economic costs will be staggering.

Top economists from around the world tell us that a steadily rising price on carbon emissions is the most effective and least expensive way to reduce our emissions and decarbonize our economy.

It isn’t only progressives and “elites” who favour a predictable and rising carbon price. Last week a group of Republican elder statesmen presented a proposal to the White House – The Conservative Case for Carbon Dividends – calling for a steadily rising, revenue-neutral carbon tax with the proceeds returned to households. Gordon Campbell recently endorsed a similar policy.

Avoiding catastrophic climate change will take a global effort, one that British Columbians and Canadians need to be a part of. I want to be able to tell my grandchildren that we were proud to have done all we could to make their future secure.

Doing nothing is not an option.

Laura Sacks/Castlegar