A long time Wolf Matters supporter, and founder of SWELL Wolf Education Centre, recently sent us a copy of a letter he wrote to BC Premier Horgan regarding wolf management in BC and has asked us to share it in the hopes that it would inspire others to pen a similar letter. Although the letter is targeted to the BC leader, much of the information can be applied to a similar letter to the Alberta government
Thank you to Telus Spark for being so welcoming and providing us with the opportunity to share our work with the public. Per our volunteer Teena , "wow the kids, parents and staff were so welcoming. The shock and interest was great ..... and we had some serious lineups for tattoos!"
Following up on our discussion about wolf bounties in Alberta and the secret provincial bounty that the government wants to keep quiet because they are using your tax dollars to give to trappers to kill wolves:
Recall, in June 2016, from the Rocky Mountain Outlook: "Dave Kay, commercial wildlife and priority species specialist with Alberta Parks and Environment, said the province is looking at ways to regulate against the use of wolf bounties by municipalities and hunting and trapping groups.“It might be legal, but socially it’s really not that acceptable and we certainly don’t promote them,” said Kay. “We’ve had some discussions internally about how we can regulate against the use of bounties on wolves.”
And photo of Dave Kay at the recent Alberta Trappers Association get together in Westlock Alberta.
A recent thread on the Alberta Outdoorsmen Forum by Alberta trappers indicates that there has been a large investment of taxpayer dollars ($120,000) going to the Alberta's Trappers Association as bounty money to snare wolves in caribou habitat. Following the thread, it looks like trappers have received one thousand dollars just to put a wolf bait out. There is no mention of government paid bounties in the Alberta Caribou Recovery Plan so the bounties must be "buried" under the section that mentions "other measures". Regardless, we have serious concerns about this government bounty. First, tax payer dollars are going towards the torture and killing of wolves (and likely by-catch animals as snares are indiscriminate) - all without consulting constituents. There has been no mention of government paid bounties by the government on any website, or the news, and our letters to the AB government have gone unanswered. According to the forum, the government wants this bounty to be kept "hush, hush". Do you want your tax dollars going towards wolf culls? Second, we know that the real reason for caribou decline is habitat loss and fragmentation from industry (logging, oil and gas, etc) and that the government of Alberta has made no serious attempts to stop industry exploration and exploitation and in fact continues to hand out permits in sensitive caribou areas, thus wolf culls are a "bandaid" solution that the government uses to attempt to persuade the public that they are doing "something" to save caribou. Third, we know that wolf culls and snaring wolves does not in fact have any affect on caribou numbers due to the habitat loss and fragmentation and other factors that are leading to caribou demise (See HERE). Fourth, The Alberta government has stated in the past that they do not support municipal or private bounties because they are not effective. It seems they have changed their mind and have implemented their own. (NEWS ARTICLE).
For more information on the caribou issues, please read our page HERE.
Below are screen shots of the discussion seen on the Outdoorsmen Forum about this secret government bounty. As taxpayers, we all have the right to know where our tax payer dollars are going. Please write your MLA and demand answers. Wolves are already poisoned and shot from the air and now the government seems to be paying out a silent bounty on these scapegoated animals. Please speak up.
Here is another Thread that was posted a few months earlier on the forum
It looks like the Alberta Trappers Association had a great time at their “rendezvous” in Westlock. Vendors included Canada Goose of course and speaker Dave Kay from AEP.
if you browse the Alberta trapping forum, you will see that trappers admit that they make no profit or income from trapping and they often describe trapping as “a hobby” and as being “fun”.
Traps/snares are cruel, indiscriminate and have been banned in many countries due to these two facts. In Alberta, our government condones it. PLEASE, continue to write and call your MLA.
Wolf Matters at Preserving Alberta's Wild Horses Symposium. Thank you so much to the team and to PAWH for inviting us. Tremendous event, tremendous people!
Recently, WM received an email from a concerned individual, Rita, who wrote us to inquire about wolf bounties and use of poison against wolves. She had read an article about wolf bounties and, like all of us, was disgusted and in disbelief that humans could treat wild animals with such cruelty and disregard and contacted us looking for clarification. After a few back and forth conversations discussing the issues and facts, Rita was inspired to write a short story about the topic and has been sharing the knowledge with her senior high school English classes. Rita is a teacher and a published writer in the USA and has promised to "spread the word" about the horrific treatment of wolves in Alberta and everywhere. She is also an amazing artist and attached a wolf painting that she created. We could not help but to share her beautiful talent with you all and hope that it too inspires you to fight for the wolf.
Story and painting posted with permission from Rita Wilson.
Thank you RITA!!
All provincial bounty programs were ended four decades ago, but counties, municipal districts and other organizations have been offering them since 2007. Until now.
Recently, it has come to our attention that the government of Alberta has started a provincial bounty subsidy for registered trappers in the caribou recovery areas. Paid for by tax dollars, it is alarming that the public was not informed on this, and ultimately it means that there will be thousands of more snares set causing a lot of suffering for wolves and other animals with no positive impact for caribou. Equally alarming is that the trappers are calling this bounty a "Hush hush program".
In the past, the Alberta government has gone on record stating that they don't support bounties, yet now, under a cover of secrecy, they are paying trappers to kill wolves with your tax dollars.
Here are some quotes from past articles and interviews that illustrate that the AB government did not support bounties:
"The Alberta government does not administer any bounty programs or use them to manage wildlife programs, said Environment and Parks spokeswoman Lisa Glover. Bounty programs are typically administered by municipalities or private land owners." (2015)
Full article HERE
"Dave Kay, commercial wildlife and priority species specialist with Alberta Parks and Environment, said the province is looking at ways to regulate against the use of wolf bounties by municipalities and hunting and trapping groups.
“It might be legal, but socially it’s really not that acceptable and we certainly don’t promote them,” said Kay. “We’ve had some discussions internally about how we can regulate against the use of bounties on wolves.”" (2016).
Full article HERE
"Alberta Environment doesn’t control wolf hunting and leaves it open to anyone with an in-season big-game tag. The department doesn’t keep records of wolves hunted or trapped on private land.
“We do not believe that localized private wolf harvest incentive or bounty programs pose a significant risk to the provincial wolf population, so long as wolves are removed according to existing regulations,” said spokeswoman Nikki Booth.
However, the fish and game association’s request for a provincewide wolf bounty is unlikely to be granted.
“There are no plans to develop a provincial wolf bounty program,” Booth said in an email." (2013)
Full article HERE
Once again, the Alberta government refuses to use sound science when it comes to the management of wolves, and once again, they are operating this management in secrecy. If this makes you angry or concerned, please let it also motivate you to speak up. Please write and call your MLAs over and over again. With enough people voicing their anger and demanding action, things can change. Please check out our section on BOUNTIES for more information and please view our video:
On Friday, January 19/18, Russell’s Privacy Advocacy Group and the Cochrane Ecological Institute (CEI) organized a public forum at the Redwood Meadows Community Centre to address concerns about the rehabilitation of wildlife in Alberta - mainly surrounding the fact that Alberta rehabilitators are banned from helping injured bears, wolves, coyotes etc in light of mounting concerns regarding the injured juvenile black bear that has spent months in a field along Highway 22. Speakers were supposed to include members representing Alberta Environment but they backed out last minute.
Regardless, there were over 150 people in attendance to listen to other panelists and to mingle with NGO groups present at the event, including Wolf Matters. We are extremely grateful to CEI for inviting WM to this important event.
We are also incredibly grateful to Wolf Matters team members Teena and Kim for sharing information on wolves and coyotes at the Cochrane Ecological Institute last night. What a wonderful event with wonderful people.
"Amazing evening with Danielle Smith (Global News Radio), Dr. David Swann (MLA) and Lisa Dahlseide B.Sc (Conservation Biology), we were there representing Wolf Matters, the primary focus of this event was to talk about "Schedule A" under AEP's wildlife management policy. This evening was so important if you were interested in seeing any change in how this policy discriminates against select groups of species - not based on science or research but on human decision! AEP in less than 24 hours before this event elected to change their position and not attend this event. I can only think it is because they have no clue on co-existance and compassion but are very good at "management by way of killing" - I know this because of a recent event that I was involved in and very dissappointed with the outcome of and I'm still embarrassed that I promoted!!! This little bear just north of Bragg Creek has opened the conversation and people are more committed now then they have been to see change and I am so hopeful. Last night left me with such a heartfelt feeling of spending time with people that are so in line with exactly what we in our own home stand for when it comes to our animals, domesticated and wild.....Danielle Smith and the panel was just wonderful "
Please continue to speak up for our wildlife, contact your MLA today and everyday until you get an answer.
Read the News Link here:https://calgary.ctvnews.ca/alberta-environment-a-no-show-at-public-forum-on-what-s-best-for-wayward-black-bear-1.3768104
Support CEI HERE
Do you live in Alberta? Do you know who your MLA is? If not, we can help!
We must pressure our leaders to get involved in the issues that matter to us. If your MLA feels pressured by his/her constituents, then they will have no choice but to get more involved to represent your concerns!
We have talked to some experts about what can be done to change the situation in Alberta when it comes to wolves and their treatment/management and they all say that constituents must get involved if anything is going to change. Your MLA is your representative, call him or her and demand change.
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