Tom Shypitka is rallying support for a two-year moratorium on hunting white-tailed doe as a first step to try and help dwindling wildlife populations in the East Kootenay and across British Columbia.
The Regional District of East Kootenay unanimously supported Shypitka’s initiative and will be sending a letter of support to the B.C. Government for a proposed two-year ban on the open hunting season for white-tailed does.
Shypitka said that before he became MLA in 2017, he was well aware of the decline population of white-tailed deer in the East Kootenay and the overall view from hunters and industry about the “unnecessary” open season on the species.
This motion to have a two-year ban on the open season is just one action he feels the B.C. Government should take to start seriously looking at wildlife management across the province.
“This is really what this is, this moratorium is a rally cry, it’s a battle cry to say hey, we’re in crisis here, let’s get our facts straight and let’s put some money towards it.”
“I think a conservative approach is necessary right now until we get that data until we get a well-funded model until we get regionalized decision making, that we should take this approach,” added Shypitka. “I would say we’re north of 90% of the constituency and the people that I talk to every day that support a white-tail moratorium for two years, let’s just take a breather for a couple of years.”
Hearing Shypitka’s proposal for the two-year moratorium, the RDEK Board of Directors unanimously voted to send a letter to the B.C. Government expressing their support for the ban.
Engaging with all stakeholders since he became MLA, Shypitka told MyEastKootenayNow.com that he has also prepared a blueprint and a proposed pilot project that would bring a dedicated funding model to Region 4, which encompasses the entire Kootenays.
“We got the highest concentration of resident hunters, we have industry, we have our trappers and our guides and our ranching communities, conservation officers, all of these people have valuable data that they can share but they are never allowed to because people in Victoria know better than we do,” said Shypitka sarcastically.
“We got to get everybody to the table, regionalized decision making is key,” added the Kootenay East MLA. “We’re so diverse in this province, we have so many different landscapes and we can’t have a one-size-fits-all management plan, it has to be regionalized and it has to be looked at from a regional viewpoint.”
Shypitka is actively pursuing the two-year white-tail doe moratorium in the B.C. Legislature with the RDEK’s support before he begins to push his proposed pilot project for wildlife funding in the Kootenays.