Randy Edmunds, the Liberal environment and conservation critic, is questioning the provincial government’s commitment to effective management of the moose population, based on the structure of ongoing moose management consultations.
Last week the province launched a series of eight public consultations with the goal of developing a five-year moose management plan.
Edmunds said he attended a consultation session in Clarenville and other Liberal members have attended other sessions, and are not satisfied that they are structured in a way to guarantee positive outcomes. “For instance, the sessions are completely focused on hunting, with little to no mention of other moose management opportunities,” Edmunds said.
People taking part in the sessions are asked to submit their comments ahead of time, he said, but with four hours allocated for every meeting several viable alternatives such as public awareness, moose fencing, and identifying hot spots along our highways are not being allowed into the discussion.
“Government is only focused on hunting and effective maintenance of the moose population rather than relying on available science to explore other alternatives,” said Edmunds. “With a new Minister at the helm of the Department I hope that Tom Hedderson will be pro-active in ensuring these consultations are fully inclusive. I strongly encourage the Minister to open the forum for discussion on all alternative solutions to managing our moose population.”
There are five remaining public consultations, including one tonight in Labrador at the L’Anse au Clair community centre, beginning at 5:30 p.m. People interested in attending a session are asked to pre-register by calling toll-free at 1-855-637-2064 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.