Speaking up for the sheep

Speaking up for the sheep Open letter to Environment Minister Elaine Taylor: Sheep and the natural environment don't appear to be a concern for you. From the newspaper articles about your rejection of the Yukon Fish And Wildlife Management Board's recom

Open letter to Environment Minister Elaine Taylor:

Sheep and the natural environment don’t appear to be a concern for you.

From the newspaper articles about your rejection of the Yukon Fish And Wildlife Management Board’s recommendation to restrict Dall sheep hunting on Pilot Mountain, it seems like you think the area and the sheep don’t need protection.

There are a few sheep left on Pilot Mountain, and it doesn’t seem to concern you that most of them are female.

There is a bit of natural environment left there, too. So what does it matter if it’s being destroyed and eroded by an uncontrolled maze of ATV trails?

You have said that conservation officers will monitor the Pilot Mountain sheep and their habitat. But here’s the catch: they only do what they are told; they follow orders, and we all know that they don’t like to kill wildlife, right? Right.

They are there to enforce the regulations, not to do what’s best for the animals and their habitat.

How can they protect the sheep population if you won’t arm them with the right regulations?

ATVs damage the environment – everyone knows this – the evidence is all around us, and the amount of damage they do varies depending on the operators of these machines.

I wonder if one of the main reasons for your bad decision regarding Pilot Mountain is that, if ATVs are banned for hunting, then this rule must also apply to “stewards of the land” (big game outfitters).

We can’t have that now, can we? Of course we can and must.

If hunters can’t use ATVs and are prohibited from hunting Dall sheep on Pilot Mountain, then the same rules must apply to big game outfitters as well, regardless of their political influence.

I am concerned the interests of the outfitters are behind these and many other government decisions, and I feel hunters should be concerned as well.

I’m sure wild animals are concerned, except they don’t vote or make political contributions, so you don’t see them as “stakeholders.”

Wildlife can’t shoot back or drive off to a new habitat. The sheep and their home environment have nowhere else to go.

Let’s protect them before it’s too late.

Mike Grieco

Whitehorse