‘Don’t come here’: Tŝilhqot’in Nation urges BC hunters to give up Chilcotin moose hunting
The Tŝilhqot’in Nation is asking moose hunters across British Columbia to stay away from the Chilcotin region this fall.
The nation released a statement Thursday (Aug. 25) asking those with Limited Entry Moose Hunting Permits (LEHs) to forfeit their moose hunt in Tsilhqot’in (Chilcotin) Territory at the west of Williams Lake, noting that hunters should consider the impacts of their hunting on the local Indigenous population.
The low number of moose, the doubling of the number of LEH in the region compared to last year and the fact that the Tŝilhqot’in depend on moose meat to feed their families are just some of the reasons of their position on the upcoming hunt, said Nits’ilʔin (Chief) Joe Alphonse, OBC, Tribal Chairman of the Tŝilhqot’in National Government (TNG).
“We’re going to start closing roads,” Alphonse said in a recent interview with Black Press Media, noting that Mackin Creek Road and Raven Lake Road will be targeted for closures again, as they were in 2018. let people know in advance, ‘don’t come here’.
Alphonse, who maintains the nation has not been properly consulted by the province on these issues, said they disagree with the provincial government’s allocation of hunting tags. Additionally, the large-scale impacts of the 2017 wildfires have not been resolved.
“We’re open to having local hunters, we don’t mind that, but when you open up and people from all over the province come to hunt here, we don’t support that,” he said. “We chose to live here – I don’t think other people who don’t live here have the same right… we want to keep having these discussions. Let’s stay local – take the pressure off.
Alphonse also expressed concern that logging roads and wildfires have created far too much access into Chilcotin/Tsilhqot’in territory, leaving animals vulnerable to overhunting and poaching, all of which have both were aided by the increase in scope and rifle technology.
“Access is beyond anything I could have imagined. Wildlife doesn’t stand a chance. I encourage all Indigenous communities to take a long and hard look at their guardianship areas and begin to manage them. If you leave that to government and industry, they will leave all the roads open.
Black Press Media has contacted the Ministry of Forests for comment.
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