Main Menu

Ingmar Lee Online

Unanswered Questions about the BC governments Golden Eagle Slaughter

May 27, 2005     by Ingmar Lee

Last year, when it became known that people involved with the
Vancouver Island marmot recovery project had been bait-killing Golden
eagles, Dr. Andrew "Mr. Marmot" Bryant, immediately went on record
expressing shock and outrage that this had happened without his
knowledge. Ostensibly, Doug Janz, then chair of the Marmot Recovery
Team had sneaked around behind his back and destroyed a number of
these magnificent birds, all in the name of 'protecting' Vancouver
Island's marmots. Later Janz took the fall for the killings, which
made front page headlines across Canada and shocked and horrified
people around the world.

From Jody Paterson's March 19th 2004 article in the Victoria Times Colonist:

"...The government bureaucrat who presided over the execution orders
-- Doug Janz, head of the Island's wildlife division -- is not only
chairman of the province's marmot recovery team, but an outspoken
advocate of predator culls for a variety of purposes. Janz has
regularly promoted wolf culls on the Island for more than 20 years --
initially to boost flagging deer populations so that hunters would
have more to kill, and more recently to spare marmots. Several culls
of wolves and cougars have occurred during his tenure, sometimes at
the hands of government and sometimes through a boost in permits to
hunt predators, as happened last winter..."

Subsequently Janz has received a "Golden Handshake," and now,
presumably has retired.

I've been researching the internal WLAP command-structure process by
which the Gordon Campbell government got involved in the killing of
the Golden eagles. One expects that the WLAP Minister, - then Joyce
Murray, must have been briefed prior to the killings, given how
controversial and repugnant the killing of eagles is to nature loving
Canadians. (Even the Gordon Campbell government now offers substantial
rewards for information leading to the conviction of eagle-killers.)
My recent Freedom of Information package isn't as comprehensive as I
had hoped for and it is clear that WLAP is being evasive as to a
possible direct connection between Murray and the slaughter. But one
thing that does come out in my package is that then WLAP Deputy
Minister, Nancy Wilkin was the highest known official to have been
briefed about the killing of Golden eagles. I see that Nancy Wilkin
now sits on the board of the Marmot Recovery Foundation.

I'm wondering if Dr. Bryant is aware of the connection between Nancy
Wilkin and this dreadful incident which has been so hugely
embarrassing to his efforts with the marmots? I'm wondering if he ever
received a thorough explanation as to why all these people sneaked
around behind his back, shooting Golden eagles without informing him.
And now that one of the approvers of that ugly business now sits on
the board of the Marmot Recovery Foundation, what assurances does the
Marmot Recovery Team have that the predator killers don't continue to
sneak around behind their backs with other diabolical secret projects?

Golden eagles aside, the government continues to sanction the targeted
killing of wolves and cougar for the "protection" of the marmots.
Here's what Raincoast Conservation Society wolf experts, Chris
Darimont and Chris Genovali had to say about WLAP's absurd "predator
control" efforts:

"The Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection (WLAP) has no reliable
data on the status of wolves and cougars, (or golden eagles for that
matter) on the island, and does not carry out a scientifically
credible enumeration of their respective populations. Rather, the
ministry depends on "hunter surveys" to estimate wolf and cougar
populations. Regardless, provincial biologists have suggested that
active management of predators, particularly wolves, is a necessary
component of the marmot recovery plan. The killing of wolves will not
provide relief from predation and, perversely, may exacerbate it."
(Victoria Times Colonist March 26, 2004)

Vancouver Island's Marmot Recovery project is fraught with outrageous
sneaking hypocrisy and sleazery. The management approach for the
marmots is identical to the Weyerhaeuser and TimberWest management
vision for the forests of the area. After logging, the companies
broadcast laboratory-cloned seedlings across the stumpfields which
they hope will "take." For the marmots, they simply carry on with
their private land clearcutting massacre, with an annual broadcast of
laboratory-bred marmots across the extirpated colony sites, which they
hope will "take." From the marmot website:

"...Major land owners in Vancouver Island Marmot habitat area are
TimberWest, Weyerhaeuser & the BC Government. Recognizing that the
Vancouver Island marmot is critically endangered, a partnership has
been created between these Major Landowners and the Marmot Recovery
Foundation. The Landowners Partners Fund (LPF) provides the Marmot
Recovery Foundation with core funding that supports and enables the
implementation of the Recovery Plan..."

Without any credible scientific justification, Weyerhaeuser,
TimberWest and the BC Government are playing Russian Roulette with
Canada's most endangered specie. The blatant kowtowing to the private
land 'rights' of industry to wantonly destroy nature which is taking
place in the mountains behind Nanaimo demonstrates the collusion of
big logging, the BC government and the quisling marmot scientists. It
also highlights the absolute impotence and incompetence of Canada's
Species At Risk Act (SARA) to protect our most endangered species.