BCSF Hires Expert Biologist to Advise on Mountain Caribou Recovery Plan
BCSF Hires a Biologist
Keremeos, BC (October 1, 2019) – While caribou recovery plans were at the forefront of last season, so far this season it has been all quiet. We have been notified of some staffing changes, the intent to pursue a renewed memorandum of understanding with the BC Snowmobile Federation (BCSF), and saw some continued media pressure from the Federal Government on the BC Government to sign the Partnership Agreement.
We have also been told that the Federal Government has refused to sign the Section 11 Agreement until the Partnership Agreement has been signed. You can see the BCSF’s concerns and formal responses to both agreements on our website www.bcsf.org. With an election looming though it is unlikely that anything meaningful will move on this file until after the election.
This does not mean that the BCSF is sitting back and waiting for the next step. In preparation for the caribou herd planning being proposed for BC, the BCSF sought to hire a biologist. To hire this biologist we approached the Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations (CCSO) and the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) to obtain funding. We were successful in securing $10,000 USD from ISMA and a commitment from CCSO of additional funds we can apply for if needed. This will be added to the BCSF funds remaining from our GoFundMe Campaign of last season so that we can attend meetings and consultations.
The BCSF is excited to share that we have chosen to hire a biologist named Mike Schlegel from Grangeville, Idaho. Mike is a biologist with a masters degree in Wildlife Management that has worked with Mountain Caribou extensively. He has retired from the Idaho Department of Fish and Game but worked closely with the Canadian Government on caribou recovery plans in his previous role. He has worked closely with snowmobile organizations in the US to maintain access where appropriate or educate users on the science that backs the decision.
Mike’s role with the BCSF will be to assist our member clubs through the Herd Planning Process. This will include helping us:
- Understand the science being presented
- Ensuring that what is being proposed is current science
- That actions proposed support stated recovery objectives
- Writing of formal engagement responses
- Provide specific scientific support when needed
A big thank you to ISMA and the CCSO for their continued support and financial backing for snowmobiling in BC!