B.C. First Nations ban moose hunt after wildfires destroy habitats
Fires have also opened up more access for hunters, statement says
Two First Nations governments in the B.C. Interior are joining together to ban all limited-entry hunting for moose in their respective territories, while accusing the province of not taking effective action to protect the animals.
The Tsilhqot'in Nation and Southern Dakelh Nation Alliance say in a joint statement that this year's record-breaking wildfires have made struggling moose populations in the region even more vulnerable.
The fires have drastically reduced high-value habitat for the animals, while creating thousands of access routes for hunters and predators.
The First Nations say the situation is so dire that many locals are choosing not to exercise their Aboriginal rights to hunt moose and are going without their main source of winter food.
"When our moose suffer, our people suffer," Chief Betty Cahoose wrote in the statement.
They say that while the provincial government continues to issue limited-entry hunting permits, they are asking all hunters to respect the ban they're imposing on their territories.
The provincial government could not immediately be reached for comment.