Frequently asked questions

Join the movement to keep our forests and wildlife
a priority in B.C. policy and decision-making.

Who Cares is a legitimate question and our page is a place to dialogue, and our website a place to learn. We care about wildlife, and we know that many other British Columbians, from all walks of life, hunters and non-hunters, also care about wildlife.

The Who Cares campaign is designed to be educational and provocative, not political. It’s intended to draw awareness to the issues that exist, help British Columbians see that wildlife in BC is facing significant challenges, and engage residents in caring – caring to the point of taking the kind of action that produces positive changes on the land.

Life and death are emotional and complex topics. Obviously, animals die whether they are hunted or not. When people do not value wildlife neither the animal nor their habitats are protected. Not hunting is not enough to save or protect a species – look no further than caribou. Are we protecting their critical habitat? Are we putting a value on caribou?

Hunting the wildlife we care about is an oxymoron to be sure. However, hunters love wildlife, want healthy populations for the future, and care about the environment wildlife needs to not only survive, but thrive. The efforts hunters have made to ensure healthy populations has been well documented. In fact, many species in BC and North America would no longer exist if it wasn’t for the effort of hunters. Check out the book, The North American Model of Wildlife Conservation if you are interested in learning more.

We are not anti-logging. We are pro responsible logging. We are not saying that B.C. does not need a forest industry. We’re saying that the forest industry needs to do a much better job and they need to consider the other values on the land.

The B.C. government refers to it as “forestry” but it’s more like farming. And like farming, is changing our diverse forests into pine plantations. Our hunger for rapidly marketable 2x4s  has trumped every other value on the land – including biodiversity, cultural heritage, fish/riparian, forage and associated plant communities, recreation, resource features, soils, visual quality, water, and wildlife. This is the attitude that we would like to see change.

Trees alone do not make a forest. Plantations and healthy forests are not the same. When we use the word “forest” here, we are referring to an ecosystem that supports a multitude of life with several processes and connections in them.

Forests have significant pieces of old as part of their mix…a complexity of richness. If you flatten that and plant pine, all of that rich complexity is gone, and it’s gone until the trees come back. And then, only some of it comes back, the vast majority is lost.

You can help by talking to people and telling them that you care. Share Who Cares with them.

Talk to your local MLA. Politicians care about being re-elected. They are elected by the people to represent the people. If they don’t appear to care, it’s because their constituents appear not to care. If YOU care, be part of the solution. Tell your MLA that you care. Get your friends and family to tell their MLAs that they care. Join your local fishing, hunting and outdoor clubs and get the members and their friends fired up to tell their MLAs that they care! That is how change happens.

It isn’t humans versus nature; we ARE nature. We all leave a footprint. Other things must die so that we can live. Hunting for protein is a sustainable, viable, and ethical means of obtaining protein – and takes significant pressure off of the commercial system. Wild harvest in Canada between 2014 and 2016 provided almost 270 million meals (based on 6 oz servings of protein.)

Those who hunt for meat know exactly where it came from and how humanely that animal died. B.C. big game hunting regulations are some of the strictest in the world. Furthermore, we were supportive of the changes to expand the “edible portions” regulation. We are proud that all the meat comes out of the mountains. Wild game meat is in high demand. Those hunters who cannot take the meat home share it with others, often with those less fortunate in the community. When there is a surplus, we share it throughout B.C. via our Fair Chase Food program.

We suggest the book, North American Model of Wildlife Conservation for a deep dive into how hunting has benefited wildlife. The examples of hunted species whose populations that have recovered include bison, white-tailed deer, black bear, wild turkey, and Canadian goose.

Without people caring enough to put their money into the system, wildlife doesn’t get saved. Simply stopping all hunting is not the solution. Some African countries have demonstrated how tragic it is to wildlife when hunting is stopped.

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction (including the actions we do not take).

Humans are definitely part of the equation on this planet, there’s just no getting away from it. Everything we do to survive here has an impact on the big picture. Mankind has changed the land and the water – impacting all the species that depend upon them. We’ve extracted resources, built roads, driven vehicles, eaten farmed crops, etc. Some species have done well while others – not so much.

Wildlife does not exist by accident anywhere, anymore. It exists and thrives where we take direct action on its behalf. Even if we could just walk away and leave nature to rebalance itself, it would take hundreds of years. We have a responsibility to do all we can to make it right.

We agree that Mother Nature would correct the problem – IF we could leave habitat alone. But understand that Mother Nature is cruel; her way is allowing highs and lows in species populations. This means that predator populations would increase until there was no food, and then disease and starvation would drastically reduce their population. Is a hands-off approach really what you want?

We believe that wildlife and forests need to be managed to help keep the balance. Einstein said, “Those who have the privilege to know have the duty to act.”

The current logging practice of clearcutting old growth forests and replanting mono-culture pine plantations is a significant part of what is fueling our fire situation. Not only are pine more resinous and more flammable, they hold less moisture in their forest floor.

For example, if you go hiking through an aspen forest in the wintertime, you’ll be up to your knees in snow, yet a conifer forest next to it will have very little snow. That’s because a lot more of the snow can go through the canopy and gather on the forest floor. You basically have a big reservoir of water in the soil in the deciduous forest that you won’t get in a conifer forest. When you add these different factors together, you get incredible fire resistance in a deciduous forest type.

We’ve seen many examples where aspen and birch have stopped forest fires. So, you have a raging forest fire across the landscape and it is stopped dead by pure stands of aspen. These trees have very thick bark that holds moisture inside the tree really well. Plus, the whole architecture of a deciduous forest is one that sucks in water from rainfall events. Aspen stands and other deciduous trees are great fire breaks and should be incorporated into forest plans. We need to think beyond simply growing 2x4s.

Every year in BC forest companies and government agencies spend millions of dollars to eliminate broadleaf species including aspen and birch from replanted conifer plantations. The majority of the area where broadleaf is eliminated is done with the use of aerial application of glyphosate formulations, the most common being VisionMax. This vast conversion of our forests from bio-diverse stands with many broadleaf species to conifer monocultures is required by law, signed off on by Registered Professional Foresters.

The result is a plantation forest with far less biodiversity than before. Without broadleaf trees and shrubs, many species of northern forests could not survive. Without aspen you lose an incredible array of associated shrubs and vegetation. They are also more vulnerable to wildfire.

We want to see the use of glyphosate and other similar related pesticides outlawed. Learn more here.

Traditional knowledge comes from years on the land – in the same area, often intergenerational. Ecological knowledge indicates the knowledge on the land and together, Traditional Ecological Knowledge describes “a cumulative body of knowledge, practice, and belief, evolving by adaptive processes and handed down through generations by cultural transmission, about the relationship of living beings (including humans) with one another and with their environment” (Berkes 2012a, 7). Traditional Ecological Knowledge is not an Indigenous term.

Many Indigenous peoples in B.C. have TEK and when the knowledge comes from an indigenous person or entity it is referred to as Indigenous knowledge. The Assembly of First Nations defines Indigenous Knowledge or what they refer to as Aboriginal Traditional Knowledge (ATK) as: “the summation of all knowledge, information, and traditional perspectives relating to the skills, understandings, expertise, facts, familiarities, justified beliefs, revelations, and observations that are owned, controlled, created, preserved, and disseminated by a particular Indigenous nation.

In recent years (Western) science has trumped TEK but often our experience is that Indigenous Knowledge/TEK is more accurate. One common challenge/contradiction frequently encountered is with wildlife inventories. Often this is done by a stratified random block (SRB) where an aircraft flies a grid and the biologists onboard document sightings, then add a “sightability factor” (correction for what they do not see based on the canopy). This SRB is then extrapolated over a much larger area and then we have a science-based survey with an accurate inventory. When this does not match IK or TEK who is right?

We are pleased that many forward-thinking wildlife professors and wildlife managers are incorporating citizen science (IK and TEK) into their science models. Wildlife management is difficult and many species in B.C. are challenging to inventory. Better information and better science will help us have better information to make better wildlife management decisions.

What wildlife needs is straightforward – healthy habitat and protection from predators. Yet, wildlife management becomes difficult when manager need to reduce the number of predators or when the additional protection or restoration actions required impact jobs and communities.

Humans have changed the landscape in ways that benefit predators, and disadvantage prey. Thus, the other challenging piece are the actions required to protect the prey species when there are too many predators.

Knowing what to do is easy. Taking action is hard. For example, protecting critical habitat reduces the available forest for logging and could in turn impact the local sawmill. Or, deactivating roads and motor vehicle closures limit or stop access, which can impact local activities.

Everyone is welcome to join in and make a difference.

Let's keep the "Super, Natural" in B.C.
for generations to come.

Join the movement to keep our wildlife a priority in B.C. policy and decision-making.