Why doesn't British Columbia have the budget to save our disappearing iconic Canadian Caribou?

BC’s Wildlife Management Budget

Wildlife management is remarkably underfunded in British Columbia; therefore when it comes to saving the Woodland Caribou herds that are functionally extinct in the southern borders, there are currently no meaningful objectives for the Caribou within the government agenda simply because it’s not a “celebrity” issue. Meaning if you’re a politician in office for a few years, this isn’t exactly a quick turn around campaign that has a quick turn around rate you could slap on your credentials.

"Beautiful British Columbia" is stamped on every license plate but how could we neglect our iconic Canadian creatures? I'm consistently frustrated about how our government spends more money on our city per day than the whole wildlife management budget per year. Furthermore on the attitude folks have towards saving these herds. There’s a sense of lost hope and almost acceptance of the situation where the blame is put on things such as global warning. The reality is North America has had a history of deprecating our animals to near extinction (you would think we’ve learnt by now) and bringing them back. Prime examples are the American Buffalo, over-all deer population, and locally the Elk herds on the island (now there’s even an LEH for Elk on the Indian Arm)! Lastly, The Wild Sheep Society has revived countless depleted sheep numbers. All this was done with sheer willpower and money. The same can be applied to the Woodland Caribou if enough people stood up and vocalized their concerns.

Wildlife Conservation GRoups Join Together

Recently, I took part in helping to coordinate an event featuring a screening of the magnificently crafted 30-minute film, Last Stand: The Vanishing Caribou Rainforest. It was amazing to see a union of so many organizations such as the BHA (Backcountry Hunters and Anglers), BCWF (BC Wildlife Federation), EatWild, NSFGC ( North Shore Fish & Game Club), and Reliable Gun working together to educate a room packed full of folks about the issue and how we can take action.

Before film beers and socializing

Before film beers and socializing

Dylan @EatWild and myself pulling names for the door raffle prizes

Dylan @EatWild and myself pulling names for the door raffle prizes

After the film discussion circle

After the film discussion circle

Tome, BHA member and Jesse Zeman @BCWF

Tome, BHA member and Jesse Zeman @BCWF

You can read more about the issue and on the current status of Caribou recovery through BCWF, here.

Update Jan 30, 2019

Our government has announce $27 million for Caribou in 2018. Some Caribou have been captured and relocated into pens as an attempt to breed them in safer environment. That being said there is still no clear agenda on how this money is going to be spent and what are the action items moving forward. You can read more here.

Write Letters To Your Local MLA

The most effective way to take action is to talk to your local MLA (Members of the Legislative Assembly) and express your concern. Alex Johnson @VancouverHunter and I have curated easy to use email templates for those that want to take action. Contact me with your email and postal code and I'll forward you your MLA contact information along with the email templates. The templates are very easy to use, and it shouldn’t take you more than 5 minutes to craft your own letter and send it off via email!

Thank you for taking interest on the matter and taking action.

Jenny Ly