Letter to the Editor

Support lichen, hunt from your trucks I would like to commend Environment Yukon and the First Nations for their foresight and humanitarianism.

Support lichen, hunt

from your trucks

I would like to commend Environment Yukon and the First Nations for their foresight and humanitarianism.

While it consults with First Nations, the government has announced that the 500-metre no-hunting corridor on the Dempster Highway will not be enforced.

It makes eminent good sense, for why should Yukon hunters have to struggle all that way over rough hummocky ground, risking stubbed toes, turned ankles, strained tendons, or worse, while trying to kill a caribou.

How many people realize how far 500 metres is?

I have done the math and just to put it in perspective, it’s approximately 100 times the distance between your couch and your refrigerator.

Some would ask, “Why not use a snowmobile?”

Those people are obviously unaware of the battering a snowmobile’s track and suspension take over such punishing terrain and such vast distance (500 metres is almost 200 Ski-Doo lengths!).

I also heartily agree with the decision to not enforce the one-week closure of hunting, whose initial purpose was to protect the herd leaders.

If Yukon hunters are allowed to kill all the leaders, it could have far-reaching benefits, for without its leaders the herd might keep on heading south all the way to Whitehorse.

Then the majority of hunters wouldn’t have to drive to the Dempster, which would mean less fuel burned and a reduction in our carbon footprint — a win-win situation.

In the future, I envision even more creative solutions coming from the talented minds in our governments, such as abolishing the rule against shooting from the vehicle.

Why should Yukon hunters have to bust their asses getting the door open and letting all that cold air into the cab of the truck?

I have more suggestions. If we must cave in to the eco-terrorists and go back to the 500-metre corridor, then why not install, at strategic locations along the Dempster, moving sidewalks like you see in airports.

They would start at the road’s edge and extend back 500 metres (with escalators for the hilly bits, of course.)

Or why not launch special laser-armed satellites so hunters can kill a caribou from the comfort and safety of their computer terminals?

Thank god for this government’s and the First Nations’ innovative approach to game management.

They seem to be the only ones with their eye on the prize.

With their careful stewardship we can realize our ultimate goal — the complete eradication of the Porcupine caribou herd.

Then and only then will our beautiful Yukon lichens be freed from the threat of predation by this cruel scourge on our landscape.

Roy Ness, chair, Federation Of Lichen Loving Yukoners (FOLLY)

Whitehorse

P.S. I cannot understand why Vuntut Gwichin chief Joe Linklater wants the corridor reinstated. After all, when the caribou are gone, oil drilling can finally start in the calving grounds. Think of the benefits — gas to burn for a whole six weeks.

Let the caribou be

Caribou, like all wildlife, play an integral role in maintaining the health and integrity of a variety of native ecosystems (inherent right).

They are not a resource just to be exploited.

They too, have a “right” to live “their” own lives without human interference.

In this day and age, most (if not all of us) do not need to kill animals in order to survive. Let alone destroy them for recreation.

What century are we in?

So if the Caribou are in serious decline, why allow them to be slaughtered in the first place?

Wouldn’t killing without necessity be morally wrong? Let alone waging war against these animals that are doing what they have done for thousands of years.

All this talk about wounded loss (this is a tragedy in itself).

It is shocking to know this still goes on.

When will you so called “conservation-minded, ethical hunters,” and all interested parties address this atrocity?

Words like “respect” don’t mean anything if not applied.

It is easy to destroy the lives of animals — we know this.

And would it not be respectful and intelligent to focus our power in protecting them and “their” habitat?

We do not have the “right” to exploit the natural world, we have done enough damage to this planet.

Time will certainly tell whether or not we continue to “abuse” our obligation.

Let them be.

Mike Grieco

Whitehorse