Clearcut and slash burn. (File photo)

Column: Human activity having impact on outdoor activities

Shuswap Outdoors/Hank Shelley

As more residents here and across B.C. retire, many look to the outdoors for relaxing and recreating.

But with a fast-changing landscape due to more clear-cut logging on our mountain slopes to sustain mills, and more hunters and anglers pursuing their sport on our lakes, the outdoor aspect is changing – including access.

Here are a few examples:

• Helen Schwantje, wildlife vet for the B.C. government, says due to the massive wildfires we experienced last year, it’s hard to estimate the number of animals that may have been lost, especially the small ones.

• Only 145 steelhead are estimated to have spawned in the Thompson river. In the Chilcotin system, 45. Chief Joe Alphonse has closed fishing to all band members.

Related: Column: Where have all the game animals gone?

• Sustenance fishing for food, including gill net fishing on the Thompson, along with poor ocean survival on smolts.

• Woodland caribou: only six remain in the Selkirk range. They will be trapped and moved to recovery pens such as those in the Revelstoke area. Since 2015, 475 wolves have been removed in the recovery areas with 154 animals increasing to 203.

Elsewhere, it’s the 60th birthday for the D H Russell belt knife, first produced by Grohmann Knives in Pictou, NS. Also, it’s 35 years for the Leatherman Multi tool. Seventy-million have been made. In 2016, it was the 150th anniversary of Winchester repeating arms, and the 200th for Remington Arms.

Related: A look at how hunters and anglers are faring in the Shuswap

Eighty acres of critical wetlands are lost each day in Canada. Overall, older hunters and anglers, that have enjoyed an era of abundant wildlife resources – and seasons, and an exciting generation of new young hunters and fishers (boys and girls), will find there will be more challenges, restrictions and regulations as the population increases.

The B.C. Wildlife Federation is trying to make sure there are hunting and fishing opportunities down the road for future generations. The Salmon Arm Fish and Game Club continues to work for conservation.

Archery – great turnout Monday evenings in the old arena. Members can shoot small arms and rifles at our range. Check all at Westside stores.


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