Province investing $1.2 million to increase moose populations

VICTORIA, B.C. – Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Steve Thomson announced today that the provincial government is investing $1.2 million to help increase moose populations in B.C.

The funding comes in the wake of a report prepared by Al Gorley titled the “Strategy to Help Restore Moose Populations in British Columbia,” which advises government to set priorities in key regions and enhance the integration of moose management with other land use activities.

“This initiative and additional resources will help us immediately address some of the recommendations in Gorley’s report,” said Thomson. “The funding helps us take action to support moose, while ensuring that British Columbia remains at the forefront of wildlife management.”

The government says that it is acting on all 21 recommendations in the report. Some of the immediate actions taken include:

  • Reducing the number of limited-entry hunts for moose cows and calves from 1,792 in 2011 to 200 in 2016.
  • Preparing moose management plans for the Peace, Omineca and Cariboo regions.
  • Using existing tools to increase habitat protection.
  • Expanding moose survey work planned for this winter to include calf mortality.

The report was prepared by Gorley in consultation with numerous First Nations, the B.C. Wildlife Federation, the Guide and Outfitters Association of B.C., the Wildlife Stewardship Council, the B.C. Cattlemen’s Association, and the Council of Forest Industries. “After hearing concerns from people across the province I am very encouraged to see the government is moving ahead with the strategy,” said Gorley.

The funding adds to the $750,000 the province is already spending on moose management this year. The new money is earmarked for on-the-ground activities like habitat enhancement and decommissioning unused forest service roads, which can affect moose survival, as well as research activities.