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I’m super upset that Parks Canada killed most of the Moose population of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park over the past 4 years

I’m super upset that Parks Canada killed most of the Moose population of the Cape Breton Highlands National Park over the past 4 years Posted on September 30, 20192 Comments

Oh boy I have a lot to say about this mess and will be writing this over the next few rainy days and I know it’s a complete rant and I plan to edit it when I simmer down as well but trying to get some points in writing before I forget. Not looking to win a literary contest.

Primarily I do not accept killing, culls, hunting, harvesting or anything that involves the intentional death of animals in our National Parks. Who is responsible for this mess? Grrrrrrrrr! It’s Federal, and the Liberals are talking about how much land they conserved over a 4 year period so was this part of that? Because sounds like horsepucky to me and I will be voting for whomever is totally against culls in our National Parks, you can be sure of that.

I’m not some city slicker who doesn’t understand wildlife.  All my life I’ve been in the woods.  Our subdivision in Cape Breton backed on a large greenbelt and I spent many hours walking and cross-country skiing as a child, often alone. There were always snowshoe hare, coyotes, deer, snares, and hunters in our woods, so I learned about all of that at a pretty early age.

We also spent many weeks each summer camping in Ingonish and encountered Bobcat, Moose, and Black Bears (under supervision and with lessons). 

Over the years I’ve encountered many moose on the road on fall drives through the highlands and seen young ones and mothers in the spring.

I regularly back country camp and learned to build a lean to shelter at camp as a schoolgirl. 

Additionally, I have been involved with varying dog and cat rescue groups over the past 20 years or so, so have a great deal of knowledge of the effects of killing as a solution.

I believe I have earned the right to speak on this subject.

Anyway, I visited the Cape Breton Highlands last week on a 4 night overnight trip which I specifically booked in order to photograph Moose, and hopefully some other wildlife. It never occurred to me for a minute that it would be difficult to find Moose during the rut in the highlands but in 4 days combing many trails by foot and lots of driving around and getting up at the crack of dawn only netted one brief sighting on the road, one pile of moose poop, and one set of tracks. So maybe there is only one Moose left in the CB Highlands?

To start, I would like a full refund for my Parks Canada pass for the 4 days because I do not want any of my voluntary dollars going to this “boondoggle”, as someone else has labelled it so well. It would seem my tax dollars have already been misappropriated the way I see it. I believe this is a politically motivated violation of department monies, that mixes issues and crosses department lines that should never be crossed.

Until I get a chance to write more here are a few links:

Anyway…lots more to come on this topic!

For starters, what a betrayal of the animals trust. They have always accepted human presence and been non-aggressive and shared their space because they lived in a kill free zone in the National Park. Can’t the animals have one safe space in Canada? They did for years what has changed? I’m beyond upset. Unacceptable.

As a form of population control, culls have proved ineffective as a long-term strategy. The more humane solution with proven lasting effects in reducing animal populations is always TNR (trap, neuter, release).  I’m sure for the cost of $7900 per moose they could have flown in veterinarians to neuter male moose in the field instead of spending it to kill them. 

Talk about a real waste of taxpayers money, the feds killed the moose, and the province wants to conduct a study to see why there is a population decline. The government must think it’s like taking candy from a baby because nobody seems to be fighting this.

Absolutely there should be no child poverty in First Nations.  My question is why is it taking a moose cull on National Park land to combat child poverty?  Have we just ignored this issue completely until 4 years ago when Parks Canada decided to start culling moose in Cape Breton?  What are they doing in the rest of Canada to combat child poverty in First Nations?  You can’t feed every child in Canada with 100 moose shot in Cape Breton.  We need a real plan so no child ever goes hungry in our country.

Child poverty, and poverty in First Nations communities should simply be addressed in our nation and every child and adult in this country should have food to eat, and clean water to drink.  Period.  Parks Canada is not the department to deal with this matter, and that is why I think this a politically motivated misappropriation of department funds.  More than anything the people that benefited financially were people paid to fly helicopters and rack up overtime, and I’m certain the money could have been spent better.

Further to that, if the cost if $7900 per moose killed  to the tune of about a million bucks and that is what we are proposing as a way to combat “food insecurity” I would say approximate 208 families a year could simply have been given food for a year in Cape Breton for the same price ($400 a week x 12).

This makes no sense to me.

I was personally embarrassed and appalled that the Potlotek First Nation was left without clean water to drink for many years.  You can not treat Canadian children or adults this way.  We are one of the richest nations on the planet and we should not have any of our citizens go without clean drinking water. 

Anyway, the moose really don’t know if they are allowed to leave and enter the park at their will, but I expect they do and they are hunted outside the park boundaries so that should provide “population control” if deemed necessary and bag limits are set each year. 

But you don’t kill animals in our National Parks in Canada.  Not on my watch.  I am appalled that it seems to have become acceptable to do this, and that so many Canadians are complacent about this issue.

The government seems to decide what they want to cull and change their minds on a fairly regular basis in Canada. Messing with ecosystems is what humans seem to do best. In Newfoundland, they culled all the Wolves some number of years ago. Now they have an abundance of Moose which should not come as any surprise. And now, when I visit Newfoundland I’m told by the locals the Wolves are coming back. I’m sure we will need a bunch of surveys and government interference to find out what they already know…the Wolves are coming back.

Then the cycle will start all over again.

Out west, they are killing Wolves to save Caribou. Again, I completely disagree that culls save anything. Nature balances itself as they discovered in Yellowstone.

The introduction or destruction of herds and predators by humans is completely inappropriate in my opinion. The forest is a place where animals live. We cut down most of the habitat in the world at this point so they should have some left for themselves. And Mother Nature knows how to manage her wild territories, we don’t need to get involved. When we as humans enter the wild spaces, we need to know how to conduct ourselves. This means not taking selfies with animals. Not feeding wild animals. Leaving no trace when we hike and camp. Being aware of our surroundings and prepared for encounters with wild animals, and studying the behavior of expected wildlife before heading out into the wild.

That being said, the animals in our National Parks have typically been protected from hunting and being killed so have become tolerant of being exposed to humans and for the most part are non-aggressive (which for the most part they are anyway although I wouldn’t want to encounter a Polar Bear) so I maintain that is a complete betrayal of their trust to organize killing parties in national park. You can call it a “harvest” if you like but to me that also opens up the National Parks to logging. Slippery slope that I’m not interested in going down.

To protect the Boreal Forest, first understand that not all of it is located in National Parks. So once again you may want to envision what a million dollars may have been used for in Canada to preserve Boreal Forest. I’m sure killing some moose in Cape Breton was the least useful thing you could spend that money on.

Clear-cutting is a huge contributor to the destruction of habitat. The petroleum industry and fossil fuels are a huge detriment to the health of our planet. If the moose are eating a few trees, it pales in comparison to what humans do every time they buy a bottle of water, or take a drive, or the majority of what we take for granted is this very carbon heavy country we live in.

So yes please oh government of Canada, please find something more useful to do with 2.1 million dollars to protect habitat and feed people than killing moose in a National Park.

I will be doing more research and also plant to reach out to Rose Courage and others in the area. I am most surprised that most people in Cape Breton that I know, including people who live near the highlands, have little knowledge of this issue. Hmmmmm….what are the politicians telling people? The press releases from Ottawa appear pretty condescending and slanted in my opinion.

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