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The questions raised on Cape Breton's cedar cost Ottawa $ 7,900 for a moose

Michael Tutton, The Canadian Press

Posted Monday, November 19, 2018 4:46 EST

When the hunter Mi & # 39; kmaq shoots a moose in the Cape Breton Highlands National Park, the meat feeds the children, the skins are used in clothing, and one ungulate animal damages the sensitive forest in the park.

Some citizens, however, have doubts as to whether the average price for a taxpayer is just over USD 7,900 per animal.

Since the program was introduced, over 120 elks have been killed three years ago. Ottawa flies to the aboriginal hunters' park and helps them remove the corpse, and the food goes to the Mi & # 39; kmaq community and food banks in Nova Scotia.

The five-year reforestation and piloting program of the "Bring back the Boreal forest" program has doubled its budget from $ 1 million to $ 2.1 million, Parks Canada says.

Park conservation manager Rob Howey claims that the collection of 122 animals from the estimated 1800 herd from autumn 2015 was profitable.

"Parks Canada has a proven track record of effective ecosystem management, and population reduction is only used in situations where it is absolutely necessary," he said in an interview.

The current hunt is to end in the first week of December.

He said that using helicopters is an effective method for six Mi'kma harvesters to hunt them and then remove the carcass from the difficult terrain as part of a 20 square kilometer pilot project.

He says that early monitoring of twigs of fir balsam and spruce, on which an elk feeds in the experimental area, showed a significant decrease in the number of eaten trees before they have a chance to grow.

Preliminary results from the research area showed that about half of the twigs were consumed four years ago, while this year 90 percent of the examined branches remained intact – increasing the chances of regeneration of the forest.

However, Rose Courage, a retiree who owns a craft shop in the northern part of Cape Breton, claims that her research applications in terms of access to information prompted her to consider hunting too expensive for taxpayers.

The total cost of parks in Canada for the first three sets was 731,000 USD, and 122 elks collected. The most expensive travel costs were travel and overtime costs for park guards, helicopter flights to remote areas, and elk check costs.

Meanwhile, Courage documents obtained from the RCMP through access to information in the autumn of 2015 and 2016. Added about $ 233,000 in police costs, with $ 7141 added for overtime last fall. This sum does not include the basic salary costs of Mounties in the last hunting season that the RCMP is not available.

The Mounties indicate in an e-mail that in the early years there were protests and objections that required police resources, and costs have fallen since then.

In general, the average cost of just over USD 7 900 for elk death is obtained by dividing parks and sums of RCMPs with 122 benches in the park, which claims to have killed in the research area until last year.

Other documents providing access to information indicate that in the Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland the estimated cost of hunting for salmon ranges from 1000 to 1500 USD plus the cost of meat distribution, in the case of a program with a similar purpose of forest renewal, but in the case of land and access may vary.

Courage suggests increasing the use of fenced fences to keep moose from certain areas of the park – tactics that the park also uses – is better than intense hunting methods.

"Cost does not seem like a big problem because they have already spent nearly 1 million deadly elks. I believe that killing an animal in a national park should be a last resort and I think there are other options," she said.

A spokesman for volunteer hunters Mi & # 39; kmaq claims that their communities have significant benefits, and food banks with thousands of kilos of meat considered a delicacy by the First Nation.

The moose is one of the most valued animals in the traditional Mi '# 39; kmaq culture, hunted for millennia and with every part of the animal used for food, tools and cultural artefacts.

Hunting on Cape Breton has provided meat to Mi'n; 39aq communities throughout the province, and some of the skins have been turned into an older school for distribution to schools, "says Clifford Paul, moose management coordinator at the Unam & # 39; Natural Resources Institute.

In three years, elk harvests accounted for more than 56,000 pounds of meat, which is 168,000 meals.

"From the point of view of Mi & # 39; kmaq, we are there to ensure we are there to share," Paul said.

Meanwhile, some costs are decreasing in the first years, say the RCMP and Parks Canada. It is estimated that this year's harvest cost is about 150,000 USD. In 2015, the cost amounted to USD 292,000.

Howey said it was not known yet whether further harvest would continue.

"We will take all of the analyzed results and determine what the best approach can be to restore the boreal forest." Ultimately, this is our goal … No decisions were taken in 2018, "he said.

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