Recently I was sent a document that was a 3 page letter from the Tl'etinqox-t'in Government Office (Chilcotin IB) based in Alexis Creek. I got it late Friday last week and so had to wait until Monday to find out anything about the letter because I could find very little about it on the Internet. On Monday I phoned the Chilcotin IB Office because I wanted first to find out if the letter were legitimate before I did anything else.

I was refereed to Chief Joe Alphonse, head of the Chilcotin IB. He assured me the latter was legitimate. He and I had a half hour conversation about the what brought about a document that said that the area, which is Crown Land, is in severe problems with very low moose populations mainly due to predation, mostly wolf and bear, as well as over hunting and over harvesting of timber in the area. He said that the Chilcotin IB had repeatedly attempted for several years to get the MoE and FLNRO to have some meaningful dialogue with them about the impending disaster. All attempts were more or less ignored. The Government bureaucrats and particularly the Liberal Politicians have completely refused to acknowledge the problem or the Chilcotin IB.

In our discussions, Chief Alphonse and myself, I found him to be very articulate and intelligent. I found in most issues I completely agreed with him. his concern is to have sustainable timber and game populations and the Government must recognize that and work with the Chilcotin IB and the other residents of the area to accomplish this or the timber will be all gone and cause erosion further lowering the habitat for the moose. Also the predators must be reduced as ther are so many the moose cannot recover.

I asked him if that meant ALL hunters were banned from harvesting moose? He said his ban members relied on the moose for survival as many were unemployed. Also the IB member guides needed to make a living or they too would be unemployed. We discussed that at length. I do not have enough space here to recant all that was said but I must say again I had to agree that if there were no other way to put food on the table I would harvest any animal I could to feed my kids.

The problems are many and not easily solved but their appeal is to get the BC Government to address the problems with low moose populations.

I asked if I would be escorted off the area if I were grouse, deer, wolf or bear hunting. He told me that if I wanted a wolf or bear they would gladly point me in the right direction. He asked me to kill as many wolves as I wanted.

I really hope this doesn't turn into a racial thing. It isn't. The Chicotin's want what we want - better management of or sorceress so the moose populations rebound to sustainable levels for all of us. I never detected a "you and us" attitude from Chief Alphonse in the issue of timber or moose harvest except he felt it was a "you and us" effort to resolve this problem - especially getting the government to recognize they cannot take everything and ruin the land and its resources like the moose.

I would encourage anyone to take up the cause with the Chilcotins in this endeavor.

Ken

I cannot attach the document so if you want it E-mail me