Citing struggling moose populations and the unprecedented wildfires in British Columbia, First Nations are extending a moratorium on the 2018 moose hunt.
The Tŝilhqot’in Nation and Southern Dãkelh Nation Alliance shared a map in a press release Wednesday showing the area included in the ban.
It encompasses from Vanderhoof to Prince George in the north from Valemount in the east, just east of Bella Coola in the west and areas southwest of Williams Lake near Tl’esqox (Riske Creek), Tl’etinqox (Anaham), Tsideldel (Redstone) and Xeni Gwet’in (Nemiah Valley).
Tsilhqot’in National Government tribal chairman chief Joe Alphonse said they are conducting a review of their legal options and looking at a possible legal challenge against the provincial decision to continue the LEH hunt.
“In the end, it’s going to be the nation picking up the pieces from the fallout of B.C.’s mismanagement of moose,” Alphonse said. “We welcome all other First Nations to join us in this effort.”
The announcement comes a week after the government announced closures and restrictions to several limited-entry moose hunts in the Chilcotin this fall.
In a news release, the ministry said they were taking the additional steps after a decade-long population decline, wildfire impacts and concerns from First Nations.
Meanwhile leaders in the Dehcho region of the NWT are expecting more hunters in their traditional territory near Fort Liard, as a result of the fires and hunting restrictions.
The Government of the Northwest Territories is reporting that the wildfire season in the territory was milder than usual.
According to a news release from the Departmert of Environment and Natural Resources – as of August 22nd, there were 54 fires with a total of 11,271 hectares burnt.
The government says the 25 year average is 172 fires and 402,976 hectares burnt.
The GNWT says the tame season here meant it was able to export a total of 76 firefighters, 19 overhead staff and 3 air tanker groups to British Columbia and Ontario this summer to help with their forest fires.
It is regular practice for the GNWT to lend resources to more active jurisdictions when the territory experiences a downturn in fire danger.