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Unanswered Questions about the BC governments Golden Eagle Slaughter

Several years ago, headline news broke out that people involved with the Vancouver Island marmot recovery project were bait-killing Golden eagles. Dr. Andrew "Mr. Marmot" Bryant, immediately went on record expressing shock and outrage that this had happened without his knowledge. Apparently, nobody on Bryant's team had bothered to tell the chief scientist that his own project was killing Golden eagles.

Instead, -so the story goes- Doug  Janz, then chair of the Marmot Recovery Team, had sneaked around behind Mr. Marmot's back and destroyed a number of these magnificent birds, all in the name of 'protecting' Vancouver Island's final marmots -Canada's most endangered species. Later Janz took the fall for the killings, which made front page headlines across Canada and shocked and horrified people around the world.

 

Several years ago, headline news broke out that people involved with the Vancouver Island marmot recovery project were bait-killing Golden eagles. Dr. Andrew "Mr. Marmot" Bryant, immediately went on record expressing shock and outrage that this had happened without his knowledge. Apparently, nobody on Bryant's team had bothered to tell the chief scientist that his own project was killing Golden eagles.

Instead, -so the story goes- Doug  Janz, then chair of the Marmot Recovery Team, had sneaked around behind Mr. Marmot's back and destroyed a number of these magnificent birds, all in the name of 'protecting' Vancouver Island's final marmots -Canada's most endangered species. 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 received the "Golden Handshake," and now, presumably has retired.

How is it the Campbell government got involved in the killing of Golden eagles?

Joyce Murray, then Water, Land and Air Protection (WLAP) Minister, now Liberal MP Vancouver-Quadra, simply must have been briefed prior to the killings. I mean surely, staff weren't authorized to just go ahead and issue permits for bait-killing of Golden eagles?? I wanted to see where Joyce Murray signed off on that.

My Freedom of Information package traced the chain of command as far as WLAP Deputy Minister, Nancy Wilkin, but no further. Until recently, Nancy Wilkin was listed as chair of the Marmot Recovery Foundation.

How can anyone believe that this macabre Golden eagle culling project proceeded unbeknownst to the WLAP Minister? Yeah right, unbeknownst to neither Joyce Murray nor Mr. Marmot...

 

Today, the wild Vancouver Island marmot has been logged to extinction. The animal survives solely as a result of Captive Breeding, funded by the logging corporations TimberWest and Island Timberlands which continue to operate on destroyed marmot habitat,  and the BC Taxpayer.  And although the Marmot Recovery Program receives substantial public funding, not a single person responsible for any aspect of the recovery program is mentioned, no name to contact, no email's returned, no command structure whatsover is visible . This below, is the utterly nameless command-structure which guides the Marmot Recovery Effort:


http://www.marmots.org/ recovery_partner.htm

Recovery Strategy and Partners


The Province of British Columbia retains ownership and legal responsibility for all Vancouver Island marmots and their progeny under the BC Wildlife Act of 1980. They provide marmots to the captive program by permit and are ultimately responsible for the species welfare.

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THE LANDOWNERS PARTNERSHIP FUND


Major land owners in Vancouver Island Marmot habitat area are TimberWest, Island Timberlands & 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 implemention of the Recovery Plan.

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THE RECOVERY TEAM

In 1988 the B.C. Ministry of Environment (now BC Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection) enlisted a group of scientists and wildlife managers from government, industry and non-governmental organizations to develop and implement a Recovery Plan for the rare Vancouver Island marmot. The Recovery Team works in partnership with scientists, researchers and technicians, -- nationally and internationally - to leverage scientific understanding of Vancouver Island marmot population recovery through collaborative research and animal management programs. The Recovery Team develops annual
Vancouver Island marmot recovery objectives and evaluates and reports on Recovery Plan progress.

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THE MARMOT RECOVERY FOUNDATION


The Marmot Recovery Foundation supports the implementation of the recovery objectives as established by the Recovery Team through the support of research, public awareness, and fund raising programs raising the funds necessary to save the Vancouver Island marmot from extinction. The Foundation provides a direct link between the government, industry and the public and ensures the financial security of the program. This is a strong, and innovative model of species stewardship, with each partner accountable to the other, unique in species recovery. The Foundation also oversees the captive breeding program on behalf of the Recovery Team through the Tony Barrett Mount Washington Marmot Recovery Centre. The Marmot Recovery Foundation is a public registered charity established in 1998. Charitable registration #88998 0629 RR0001

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THE SCIENCE ADVISORY GROUP

Through our research partners, The Science Advisory Group (SAG), at the Centre for Biodiversity Research, University of British Columbia, we have been able to broaden the scope of our conservation efforts by using broad-based science to enhance recovery research.

Funded, in part, by the Government of Canada and coalition partner TimberWest, SAG cast a wide net throughout the scientific community, ensuring different approaches were examined and the best studies done, leading us to better understand the challenges and solutions surrounding the restoration of this species.