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Posted: March 21, 2018

Coalition urges government action regarding wildlife

A group of conservation organizations has come together to increase awareness over the state of wildlife in the Kootenays.

The Kootenay Wildlife Coalition (KWC) is not a new wildlife organization. The KWC is a ‘coalition’ of groups, speaking together on the current state of wildlife. The KWC’s intention is to provide support to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.

The objective is to ensure functioning, abundant wildlife populations in the Kootenay region. As a temporary collection of passionate conservationists hoping to provide leadership on the issue, the KWC urges the provincial government to set objectives for wildlife and supporting landscape habitat in the Kootenays.

“Wildlife populations in the Kootenay region are in a general state of decline. Society’s impact on wildlife and the habitat they rely on is continuing to increase from all forms of industrial and recreational users. The increased pressure on the landscape has a cumulative effect making it difficult to maintain a balance,” the KWC stated in a media release.

“The state of wildlife is important to our quality of life and culture in the Kootenay region. We all experience and interact with wildlife and the land in our own unique way. Do we care about wildlife? Should society care about wildlife? Absolutely. Wildlife is an integral part of British Columbia.”

The KWC is made up of a diverse group of organizations: East Kootenay Wildlife Association, East Kootenay Trappers Association, British Columbia Backcountry Hunters and Anglers, United Bowhunters of British Columbia, Wildsight, Southern Guides & Outfitters and East Kootenay Big Game Club.

The combined membership of these groups represents local residents from a broad range of backgrounds and interests. The common goal is to make wildlife management a higher priority within government.

The Kootenay Wildlife Coalition’s combined message to government is:

  • Wildlife and habitat need to be a priority within government and funded appropriately,
  • We need clear objectives and management plans that are sustainable, effectively monitored and enforced,
  • This process will require robust datasets gathered to support these wildlife objectives and management plans,
  • Implementation may require changes to policy and legislation and a thorough review considering wildlife as a priority, is necessary.

“We encourage any organization or member of the public with interest in wildlife in the Kootenay Region to reach out to the current government with his or her own message. The focus is wildlife. The more people or organizations that step forward, the stronger the message will be. If you or your organization would like to become involved with the KWC please contact a member group,” the KWC stated.

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