Province proposes increased moose-hunting to compensate for Site-C construction

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To compensate for the impact of the Site-C dam, the B.C. government has proposed increasing moose-hunts for the Saulteau First Nation, according to The Province.

A representative with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources said this proposal to restrict licensed hunting opportunity in favour of those holding Section 35 rights under the Constitution Act of 1982, and compensate for Site C-related impacts — as well, it is in response to the recommendations from the Joint Review Panel (Recommendation 20) that conducted the environmental assessment on Site-C.

But according to the newspaper, Naomi Owens of the Saulteau First Nations claims the government is ‘just shoving this accommodation’ at them without proper consultation. “Having it tied to compensation from Site C is ridiculous. … I don’t agree with that. Our Lands department doesn’t support habitat loss.”

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Consultation with First Nations was also at issue in a legal challenge this week in B.C. Supreme Court in Victoria, where Treaty 8 Tribal Association members appeared in court seeking to end Site-C work permits.

Opinions in the Saulteau community on the Site-C project seem to be divided, with some supporting the project for the jobs it will offer, and some dismissing it for the environmental concerns it brings.

The representative with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources added that the PMT covers 107,000 hectares over two different wildlife management units.

Approximately 20% of Management Unit 7-32 is covered by the PMT, and in the past 10 years, there has been an average of 200 moose harvested by residents in MU 7-32 in its entirety.

Only 8% of Management Unit 7-31 is covered by the PMT, and it contains several access roads used by resident hunters, thus, there will be a loss of hunting opportunity for resident hunters.

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