Pop star Miley Cyrus visited the small community of Klemtu last week to speak out against B.C.’s controversial wolf cull and the trophy hunt.
Cyrus, the daughter of Billie Ray Cyrus, spent her childhood in the entertainment business as the beloved star of “Hannah Montana.” She seemed to transition overnight into an arguably racier version of herself who made “twerking” a household name.
Cyrus and her brother, Braison, traveled to the Great Bear Rainforest last week after the star made a number of twitter and social media comments speaking out against the wolf cull. While in the community, the star made a point to oppose the grizzly bear hunt as well.
The trip was coordinated by Pacific Wild and kept under wraps until last week when the environmental group released a video of Cyrus speaking out against the planned cull and the hunt after a bear watching tour with the Kitasoo/Xaixais First Nation.
The B.C. government has said the cull is needed to protect the diminishing caribou herd in the southern Interior, but critics have said the cull is unnecessary, saying that loss of habitat is to blame.
University of Victoria conservation scientist Chris Darimont said wolves are being made a “scapegoat” for a whole host of other issues, such as habitat loss due to increased development for oil and gas.
“It’s a desperate, last-minute Hail Mary attempt to avoid what really ought to be done and that is slow down and stop habitat destruction in caribou habitat,” he said.
The B.C. government is modeling its wolf-cull plan after a similar model was carried out in Alberta over 10 years, which the government claims helped save the heavily endangered Little Smoky caribou herd.
Alberta government caribou expert Dave Hervieux said it worked, but resulted in the death of about 1000 wolves.
B.C. Premier Christy Clark has been pointedly dismissive of Cyrus. “If we ever need help with our twerking policy, we’ll go to [Ms. Cyrus],” said Clark.
Such remarks drew the ire of Ian McAllister, co-founder and director of Pacific Wild, who said that Cyrus was drawing attention to an increasingly serious issue through her visit to BC.
“It was really insulting and rather rude and quite unbecoming of a premier,” said McAllister, whose organization led the Great Bear expedition.
The cull has also drawn the attention of well-known animal activist Pamela Anderson, who voiced her concerns through an open letter to the Premier.
“When I first spoke out, I knew in my heart that the wolf cull was wrong,” said Cyrus. “But after this visit, I know science is on my side, not just on the wolf cull, but also on the trophy hunt issue. Both are unsustainable and both are horrific. Both have to end.”