PETERBOROUGH, ON--(Marketwired - September 15, 2016) - The following is a statement from the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH):
Same story, different species. Once again the government of Ontario has let emotion trump sound science when it comes to wildlife management as they move ahead with a ban on wolf and coyote hunting and trapping in many areas across the province.
They did so on a day -- Sept. 15 -- that was supposed to mark the opening of wolf and coyote hunting seasons in most of the Wildlife Management Units affected by the decision.
Effective immediately, hunting and trapping of wolves and coyotes has been banned in 40 townships from Anstruther to Minden to Killarney and a number of areas in between.
"The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's original proposal last month only provided a single option accompanied by an almost complete absence of sufficient evidence to support it," says OFAH manager of fish and wildlife services Matt DeMille.
Today's decision acknowledged, but did nothing to address the OFAH's legitimate concerns with the government's approach to resource management decision-making.
"There is virtually no public transparency, and an apparent lack of meaningful public consultation," added DeMille.
Following the shortest possible comment period on the Environmental Registry -- 30 days -- the MNRF made a quick decision without sufficient time to adequately consider the thousands of public submissions received.
It's processes and decisions like these that are leading hunters, trappers and the outdoors community to lose faith in the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry's ability to make critical evidence-based management decisions.
This decision came down two days before a national day to recognize the modern relevance of important heritage activities in Canada. September 17 marks the second annual National Hunting Trapping and Fishing Heritage Day.
Hunting and trapping is enormously important to our heritage in Canada, and remains a part of the cultural identity for millions of Canadians. As we prepare to celebrate fishing, hunting and trapping activities this weekend, this decision serves as a reminder that the outdoors community must remain strongly committed to protecting our traditions.
"We didn't back down when the government allowed emotion to get in the way of a sustainable spring bear hunt. We won't back down when it comes to demanding sound wolf and coyote management either. The OFAH will never stop pushing for sound evidence-based decision-making in this province," DeMille adds.
With over 100,000 members, subscribers and supporters, and 735 member clubs, the OFAH is the province's largest nonprofit, fish and wildlife conservation-based organization and the VOICE of anglers and hunters. For more information, visit us online at www.ofah.org, follow us on Twitter @ofah and find us on Facebook.
Full list of townships affected by the ban
Eden, Tilton, Secord, Burwash, Foster, Truman, Dieppe, Caen, Bevin, Halifax, Laura, Servos, Curtin, Roosevelt, Hansen, Goschen, Sale, Attlee, Waldie, Cox, Killarney, Carlyle, Humboldt, Kilpatrick, Struthers, Allen, Ryde, Longford, Anson, Minden, Dalton, Digby, Lutterworth, Harvey, Burleigh, Cavendish, Anstruther, Chandos, Cardiff, Monmouth