Cheslatta backs village on moose recovery bid

Cheslatta backs village on moose recovery bid

The Cheslatta Carrier Nation has thrown its support behind a resolution from the Burns Lake village council seeking to increase moose populations.

The council agreed on June 25 to submit a resolution to the Union of BC Municipalities (UBCM) to be passed onto the provincial government calling for actions on moose recovery.

LOOK BACK: Village bids to boost moose numbers

The first action of the resolution calls for a stop to the cow/calf moose Limited Entry Hunt (LEH), a system that authorizes hunting to resident hunters based on a lottery.

“Cheslatta is totally in support of moose recovery until the populations come back,” as Corinna Leween, Cheslatta Carrier Nation Chief told Lakes District News.

“[Stopping the cow/calf LEH hunt] is vital for the recovery of the population.”

The second action in the village’s moose bid urged the provincial government to carry out more intensive monitoring of moose populations to get a clearer picture of numbers.

In the Burns Lake region moose numbers have been relatively lower for some time, as hunters and the government have found. A Ministry of Forests Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development study covering 2012-2018 discovered the moose population had fallen by 13 per cent. A ministry spokesperson said that over the same period “there was a 25 per cent decline in the bull-to-cow ratio, and there was a 16 per cent decline in the calf-to-cow ratio.”

READ MORE: Overhunting cuts moose population, observers say

“I support all efforts being made for population recovery. Given the devastation of the fires, given the predators that are out there right now, it seems to be a big issue in regards to the grizzly and the wolf. There are many factors in this population decline,” Leween explained.

The Cheslatta chief said last year that there has been too much moose hunting and that she supports a moratorium for non-residents of the area, especially trophy hunters.

Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad has also spoken out about the moose issue, and criticized the British Columbia government’s predator management program.

Improper control of predators has seen the numbers of wolves and bears rise too high while ungulate populations are too low, he told a public meeting in Burns Lake on June. 15.

RELATED: Manage predators, bring back moose, MLA says

Blair McBride
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