Former North Island Conservation Officer Tim Schumacher rescued two cubs a few years ago.

Former North Island Conservation Officer Tim Schumacher rescued two cubs a few years ago.

Save our Dudley-Do-Rights from bear-killing bureaucrats

Contributor Lawrence Woodall on a recent bear cub controversy

What a world we live in when a man does the right thing and is punished by a suspension without pay.  Spending time in the military and with The Ministry of Natural Resources, I understand the chain of command and what it entails, but it takes a man like CO Bryce Casavant with big boots to break that chain by saving the lives of two bear cubs, both which are displaying normal cub behaviour down at the North Island Wildlife Recovery facility in Errington and are deemed good candidates for reintroduction to the wilds.

Bryce’s suspension is a microcosm of a bigger picture of control, manipulation, and lip service to the environment by bureaucrats, politicians, and desk-top biologists. BC, the greenest province in Canada is an illusion, coal mining operations devastating mountain goat populations, Mount Polly like disasters in which bureaucrats attempt to down play its impact, ski lodges being built in prime Mountain Caribou habitat, one of the most endangered species in the world, and the devastation of the Conservation Officer ranks which is the front line in the war against the erosion of our environment. The COs are there to protect the environment not kill it. Someone in head office didn’t get that memo I guess.

Between 1995 to the early 2000s the CO ranks were slashed by more than 50 per cent and during that same period their responsibilities were increased, and that number has dropped even further since to 148 CO positions of which 16 are management and the last count had 12 vacancies, meaning 120 functioning COs for the province of BC, a land mass of 944,735 square kilometres. That’s 7,873 square kilometres for each officer. Of course the bureaucrats will tell you that each region is supported by a network of other regions, in other words through no fault of their own they are more of a reactionary force than a pro-action force. Bryce was reacting to the sow, but was proactive by saving future heathy adult bears,

I can’t speak on his behalf, but I’m sure it felt good, seeing something positive. It’s good for morale, why can’t his desk top masters see that.

In close to 40 years working with bears, I’ve only been involved in the killing of one sow and luckily we had a superintendent who trusted the boots on the ground.

Herb and I were given free rein on how to deal with her two cubs who were healthy and active, and the following spring they were two happy siblings, almost a year older, and we didn’t have a recovery centre back then, where these days there is a number of wildlife rehab centers which should in theory make it easier for Conservation Officers to make decisions pertaining to the welfare of cubs. Bryce’s desk-top masters should trust the boots on the ground and their firsthand knowledge to determine the correct course of action when it concerns wildlife.

Thankfully Bryce is getting massive support around the globe. We as a society have to be constantly vigilant if we are to protect the world we live in, and if we support the Bryces of the world, there will come a day when we will see an end to bureaucrats and desk-top biologists paying homage to their political masters by paying lip service to the environment while killing it slowly including healthy bear cubs.

 

Just Posted

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Blueprints for the seniors housing project in Port Hardy. (North Island Seniors Housing Foundation photo)
BC Housing declines North Island Seniors Housing Foundation’s proposal to build units

BC Housing will be explaining why exactly the project was declined at a June 18 meeting

An aerial view of the marine oil-spill near Bligh Island in Nootka sound that the Canadian Coast Guard posted in a live social media feed in December. ( Canadian Coast Guard/Facebook)
Oil from vessel that sank in 1968 off Vancouver Island to be removed

DFO hires Florida firm to carefully remove oil from MV Schiedyk in Nootka Sound starting in mid-June

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read