A matter of care, choice and election to feed starving wildlife
This past winter will be remembered as hard, cold and long, especially for the wildlife resources here in the Kooteney district.
In late January, 2017, it became obvious to some concerned citizens that a little help for wildlife was needed, as smaller whitetailed deer were already dying due to deep snow, cold weather and an unavailable food supply. The Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund directors decided to take on the task of a winter wildlife feeding program.
Our first action was to enlist the assistance of the media and the help of able and concerned citizens to bring the plight of wildlife to the people, and then begin the process of funding this venture, to broker a local feed source from Creston [best price], and to recruit as many concerned sportsmen as possible to carry out the wildlife feeding task.
With a team of ranchers, loggers, guideoutfitters, railroaders, small and large businesses, naturalist, rod and gun clubs, trappers, miners, contractors and individuals from every other walk of life in the Kootenays, the wildlife feeding was up and running. The results of our collective efforts meant that a couple othousand elk and similar numbers of deer were fed at more than fifty-six feed sites from Invermere to the U.S. border, and to the south end of Moyie Lake.
Our collective approach was to keep focussed — our mission simple — to feed as many elk, mule deer, whitetail deer and bighorn sheep as possible — not tobe diverted by controversy Not surprisingly some folks who are disillusioned feel that nature should take its course, “the let it be attitude”, and let them starve because it is natural in a severe winter.
Predation by starvation is not an option for the Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund, it’s directors or to the majority of Kootenay citizens who assisted where they could.
Some dissidents even believe that wildlife feeding causes death. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Most civilized nations feed their wildlife annually. Those who believe feeding doesn’t work should do the world a favor and starve for fifty days and see how that goes.
I am sure if the starving animals were domestic ones: horses, cattle, dogs or cats, instead of deer or elk, these same “no gooders” would be ranting about incarcertion for the offenders for such inhumanity, demanding jail time, even flogging of these cruel and uncaring owners.
Space does not permit the mention of all the wildlife supporters who donated, who went out daily and gave generously of their time, their equipment and in many cases their own property. The best of this story will be the increased calf elk recruitment, the numbers of healthy fawns born in late may early June. Our collective goal is to multiply our wildlife resources over the coming years and begin the process of managing predators to below carrying capacity. Our ungulate populations will rebound. Both people and nature will be better off.
Carmen C. Purdy
Love of Wildlife
In reply to Michelle Longstaff’s letter of March 17 in the Bulletin.
I deeply resent and take offence in her implication that since I am a hunter, I am not a “true wildlife lover”. If it were not for hunters there would be no “wildlife for her to love”. I doubt that she has ever been anywhere that she could not see streetlights — what has she done for wildlife lately?
In 2001 I was fortunate enough be chosen to take 50 elk from Elk Island National Park down to the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, where had not been any elk for 150 years. I helped with this project because I love wildlife. I am also a life member of the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, a member of Bucks Unlimited, a member of the B.C. Wildlife Federation, a contributor to the Kootenay Wildlife Heritage Fund. I do this because I am a “true wildlife lover”. What has she done for wildlife lately?
The foundations and organizations that I mention are a few of the organizations tasked to the procurement, maintenance and enhancement of wildlife habitat. In an ever decreasing land base, it is imperative that this vital land is secured for wildlife. These organizations and foundations are almost entirely made up of hunters — what has she done for wildlife lately?
I would be lying if I said that hunters didn’t benefit from these purchases and enhancements. But it is obvious that the hunters contributed most of the funds through license and tag purchases.I am over 80 years old now and no longer take my rifle with me when I go out in the fall but I still love to go out with my son and granddaughter for the chance to hear an elk bugle.
I think that if Michelle climbed down off the porch, she would find that hunters are not just killers and we love wildlife as much as she does.
Make Kimberley Great Again
If there ever was a photo to tell Kimberley taxpayers that we must make Kimberley great again, it was the photo of the city council and school board when they signed the joint use agreement. Kimberley youth produced world champions, B.C. champions, Kootenay champions and East Kootenay champions in hockey, curling, skiing, baseball and basketball. In those days we had the best snow removal, competitive taxes, a small management at city hall and projects on or under budget. Presently it is the exact opposite, with water and sewer increases and large tax increases.
Yup, it is time politically, to make Kimberley great again.
The trees, the trees
The City of Cranbrook slated the importance of good tree management. One step suggested was for residents to talk to their neighbours about their responsibility for the trees on their private property. I have done this with no results.
Second item was to have a professional arborist assess and remove trees — if there is concern around safety, should a tree come down? This was done with no results by two qualified arborists.
There are no bylaws making owners address damaged trees or branches hanging onto another’s property,
The question is: Why do we need pine trees that stand 200 feet high in a residential neighbourhood? The answer to the City is simple: Make an enforced bylaw that would limit the height of trees to 100 feet — above that, the tree would have to be topped or removed.
It is time the City addressed the problem. Please, no more talks and newspaper ads telling us who a tree belongs to. It is time for action.
Ron Demaniuk Sr.