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Klappan River Blockade: Letter to Ministry of Environment

Northwest Fish & Wildlife Conservation Association

137 Parry Place

Prince Rupert, B.C.

V8J 4B1

December 29, 2009

Mr. Ralph Archibald

Environmental Stewardship Division

Ministry of Environment

Box 9339 Stn. Prov. Gov’t.

Victoria B.C. V8W 9M1

Re – Klappan River Road Blockade and Subsequent Proposed Wildlife Management Changes.

Dear Ralph,

The Northwest Fish and Wildlife Conservation Association membership (The Regional Branch of the B.C. Wildlife Federation), wish to express their extreme disgust and frustration towards the illegal road blockade on the Klappan River Road that occurred in September of this year.

Government and the two policing agencies responsible for enforcing the law failed to protect legal rights, opportunities, property and safety of many citizens. The illegal behavior of certain Tahltan Band Members and lack of punishment for their illegal behavior now demonstrates to First Nations people that breaking the law leads to successful campaigning that discriminates and unjustly hinders other law abiding citizens of British Columbia .

Government behavior and subsequent lack of action by policing agencies makes a mockery of the Canadian Justice System, now viewed by us as an internal attach on our Sovereignty!

At the Skeena Hunters Advisory Committee meeting held Dec. 12, 2009 in Smithers. Regional M.O.E. Manager Tom Bell revealed to the committee a joint proposal from M.O.E. staff and the Tahltan Band that would unjustly impact resident hunters of British Columbia. Reducing the hunting season for moose in Region 6-19 to 6-29 by 30 days, reducing the hunting season by 60 days in portions of 6-20 and putting the Stikine, Pitman and Chuckachida Rivers on L.E.H. for moose are management proposals that are neither scientifically or socially defensible.

It is our contention that the illusion of scarcity being promoted by certain members of the Tahltan Band is part of a propaganda smear campaign to deliberately discredit resident hunters.

It is also our contention and supported by M.O.E. Biologists that the moose populations in regions 6-19 thru 6-29 are robust and no infringement of Aboriginal hunting rights exists.

While we are prepared to enter into further discussion with your staff in Smithers regarding a game check station on the Klappan River Road it would be our expectation that the station would be run professionally and without prejudice and that all hunters including guided non-residents and F.N. be obliged to report their activity and success.

We are also prepared to discuss with your Smithers staff logistics and workability of a compulsory inspection center at or near Tatogga Lake Resort. Again we would expect all hunters including F.N. and non-residents to report their harvest.

Our members feel that they as resident hunters have been deliberately targeted with no mention of the harvest and impact of non-residents. We are aware that for many species in the area harvest is dominated by non-residents and not residents as touted by some.

Spatsizi, Stikine, Chuckachita, Pitman and Edziza areas are prime examples.

In closing I wish to point out that revising hunting regulations and then doing inventory work is completely backwards. There are no conservation concerns for moose anywhere in the area of concern but there is certainly an optics issue.

May we suggest running the game check station, doing inventory work and then come back to the table to see if management changes are required.

Yours in Conservation

Ken Franzen – Chair N.F.W.C.A.

c.c. Tom Ethier – Director Fish & Wildlife M.O.E.

Tom Bell Region 6 Manager M.O.E.

B.C. Wildlife Federation Membership

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