Elk problem a growing concern to ranchers

Continuing with my previous article of problem wildlife I have come across some more information relating to the growing elk herd population and the continuing damaging affect on agriculture in their path.

Continuing with my previous article of problem wildlife I have come across some more information relating to the growing elk herd population and the continuing damaging affect on agriculture in their path.  Wayne Ray of Fort Fraser recently forwarded me a document entitled “Robson Valley Elk Herd Interface Management Plan” put out by the McBride Farmers’ Institute.  Wayne also shared with me some of his past elk experiences which where less of a problem this year than usual mostly he felt due to 3 or 4 packs of wolves that hung around all winter. Nothing like going from the frying pan to the fire! This winter moose were more of a problem and ate about 25 round bales and partially ate another 25.  Moose in general do less damage and waste less hay than elk as they are quite content to find themselves a bale meeting their culinary expectations and then eat it until it is gone.

Wayne remembers during the late 1980’s the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation came around to the local livestock associations promoting the value of introducing elk to the area.  The Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation and the Nechako Valley Sporting Association worked hard to get elk into the area with the first transplant taking place in 1995.  The local Conservation Association and the Ministry of Environment deny any transplants took place; instead claiming the influx of elk is due to “Global Warming”.

Elk in Jasper National Park have been a problem since the 1960’s with a large number, possibly 250, harvested (politically correct term for killed) in 1969, to try and curtail some of the human-elk conflicts, but due to public pressure this is no longer considered a humane option and instead problem elk are relocated.  However numbers and relocation information from Jasper or Banff is not disclosed.  It is the position of the Institute that the current problem in the Robson Valley is a direct result of those relocations. The Institute has documented two trailer loads of elk being released in the Robson Valley in 2007.

The problems with elk relating to agriculture in the Robson Valley has been ongoing and increasing since 1987 and their fight to have the government take responsibility for their own animals is probably indicative of what we have to look forward to.  McBride was not historically populated by elk and ranchers and farmers recall there were no elk in the valley prior to the 1970’s.  By 1987 there were approximately 200 animals and today approximately 600.  Due to various studies Parks Canada anticipates elk herds will grow by about 20% a year and the provincial herd is increasing by upwards of 6000 elk per year. Based on current numbers, harvesting by hunting would have to increase by 400% just to maintain the current population.

The Robson Valley Elk Herd Interface Management Plan has put together a three part proposed program to cull and then maintain the herd to a manageable 150-200 head herd.

a. Change existing hunting regulations by extending the season and increasing the number of animals allowed to be harvested.

b. Implement a large scale relocation program to move elk to a location that does not impact agricultural operations.

c. Assist the province in meeting a target herd size approx 150-200 head by facilitating a large scale cull of elk and maintenance of the above changed regulations.

 

Just Posted

Repen: FOI data proves Telkwans being ripped off by ICBC

Former Telkwa mayor received a response from ICBC and says the results don’t look good for residents

Fires still burning near Telegraph Creek

BC Wildfire Service assures residents of a proactive plan heading into wildfire season

Northwest entrepreneurs pitch their plans for cash prizes

ThriveNorth announces 12 finalists in this year’s business challenge

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Cyclist braking stigma on addiction from coast to coast

Mathew Fee aims at world record for longest distance on BMX bike while sharing his story of recovery

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

QUIZ: How much do you know about Easter?

Take this short quiz and put your knowledge to the test

B.C. VIEWS: NDP’s lawyer show is turning into a horror movie

Court actions pile up over pipelines, car insurance, care aides

Global Affairs warns Canadians in Sri Lanka there could be more attacks

A series of bomb blasts killed at least 207 people and injured hundreds more

Waste not: Kootenay brewery leftovers feed the local food chain

Spent grains from the Trail Beer Refinery are donated to local farmers and growers, none go to waste

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

Most Read