The following is the text from the response we received to our letter to the Minister regarding the management of overabundant deer on Mayne Island.


Reference: 267889
Dec 06 2021
VIA EMAIL: info@conservancymayne.com

Malcolm Inglis, President
Mayne Island Conservancy Society
PO Box 31
Mayne Island, British Columbia
VON 2J0

Dear Malcolm Inglis:

Thank you for your letter received October 18, 2021, to Honourable Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, regarding the loss of ecosystem integrity and resilience on Mayne Island due to overabundant deer populations. I have been asked to respond.

As you know, a fallow deer game farm was authorized by Ministry of Agriculture in the 1990s. Once the farm ceased operation in the late 90s, the fallow deer became feral across Mayne Island and their population significantly expanded free from predation and extensive hunting.

Recognizing the ecological damage, agriculture conflicts, vehicle collisions, and competition with native black-tailed deer, opportunities to kill fallow deer were liberalized in 2018 by introducing a General Open Season for fallow deer on Mayne Island with No Closed Season and No Bag Limit.

The Province of British Columbia has also financially supported the Capital Regional District
in its collaborative efforts with local First Nations to cull fallow deer on Mayne Island over the last three years through the Provincial Urban Deer Advisory Committee. The ministry Wildlife Team in the region continues to seek funds through internal sources and through the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries to pursue a formal process with First Nations, stakeholders, and governing agencies to understand the varied perspectives and
values regarding fallow deer on Mayne Island. This process would inform next steps for management actions such as those called for by the Mayne Island Conservancy Society.

To date no major funding has been provided to further these management actions. However, we will continue to pursue the funding opportunities as they arise.

Again, thank you for writing to share your concerns.

Sincerely,

Sharon Hadway

Regional Executive Director

West Coast Natural Resource Region

pc:
Honourable John Horgan, Premier of British Columbia

Honourable Katrine Conroy, Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations
and Rural Development

Honourable Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries

Honourable George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Adam Olsen, MLA, Saanich North and the Islands

Peter Luckham, Chair, Islands Trust Council

Jeanine Dodds, Mayne Island Trustee

David Maude, Mayne Island Trustee

David Howe, Director, Southern Gulf Island Electoral Area


Here is the Ministry’s response in its original PDF form:


1 Comment

Dan Guinan · February 1, 2022 at 7:29 pm

A few thoughts. Why does Ms. Hadway say the Provincial Urban Deer Advisory Committee is actively working on the issue but the ministry website only has meeting minutes from 2019? Why have there been no project reports posted online since 2019? Why does the regional wildlife team require funding to start a formal process of stakeholders? Where can we access funding for a Tsartlip Land Guardian program? How can we support Tsartlip to hire additional staff to provide venison to their community? I believe these would be in line with consultation receommendations for local control and Indigenous co-management. An ungulate and native plant damage survey is in line with stakeholder consultation reccomendation to support research and data collection, and the dissemination of that information. Also in line with recoommendations would be informing the public of positive stories and sharing good examples, including using social media campaigns, of regenerating and protecting the coastal douglas fir ecosystem using humane Indigenous ungulate control.

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