BC’s wolf management plan acknowledges that there is uncertainty about the current take of wolves, and that without a mandatory reporting system, it is impossible to assess the sustainability of the province’s wolf management Forest Policy Research . However, the government’s final plan ignores public concerns about the inhumane nature of the ‘wolf killing plan’, which focuses on the elimination of the wolf population through the use of generous quotas, no bag limits, and long hunting seasons.
The provincial government is currently accepting public comments regarding aerial wolf-killing plans. If approved, these plans could lead to decades of publicly-funded wolf slaughter. The deaths of moose, deer, cougar, bear, and wolverine would be expected as compensation. These wolf-killing plans also don’t explain how to protect quality habitat that is essential for caribou herds and climax forests.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development has stated that they will not expand the wolf-killing program unless the government can ensure that the wolf population is reestablished. They also have stated that the province’s wolf population will be sustainable over the long term. As a result, the Ministry is attempting to balance the interests of logging and conservation.
The BC government’s cull program has resulted in the deaths of two hundred and sixty wolves over the last two winters. Those killed are often strangled in a snare and killed with multiple bullets. Those in favor of the program say that wolves will eventually recover. They point out that the Canadian government recently admitted to net-gunning wolves from helicopters.
While logging and conservation interests are in conflict, the environmental actors have a more powerful influence on the BC government’s decision-making. They support the creation of new laws and regulations that would allow the wolves to reproduce in a manner that is compatible with wildlife welfare. They are also opposed to the cull itself. Both sides have the right to decide what kind of policy will be best for their province.
In British Columbia, there is no such legislation. The BC government has repeatedly promised to pass legislation protecting wolves, but so far it has not come through. Regardless, the wolves in these regions have become more vulnerable. Because of this, they are not immune to human violence. They can be killed by accident. Some species can be killed by humans and some can be rehabilitated. The resulting repopulation of these wolves is not healthy.