Cattle guards are being put back in the Raven Lake Road off Highway 20 west of Williams Lake. Earlier this week the Tsilhqot’in National Government deactivated some forestry roads in the region in an attempt to stop moose hunting. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Pulled cattle guards going back in place despite B.C. Interior First Nations moose hunt protest

Forests minister Donaldson and TNG Chief Alphonse discuss situation, agree on path forward, ministry says

Three days after First Nations deactivated forestry roads in B.C.’s Interior in an attempt to stop the fall moose hunt, provincial government staff are putting pulled cattle guards back in place.

“Minister Donaldson has just discussed the situation with Chief Joe Alphonse [Tsilhqot’in National Government tribal chairman] and they have agreed on a path forward,” a spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development told the Tribune Friday afternoon.

Other than confirming the cattle guards were being re-installed Friday, the spokesperson could only add that more details would be provided next week.

Earlier in September, several First Nations communities announced they were joining together to ban all limited-entry hunts (LEH) for moose within their respective territories this fall.

Read more: B.C. Interior First Nations announce limited-entry moose hunt ban

The Tŝilhqot’in Nation and Southern Dãkelh Nation Alliance (SDNA) shared a map of the ban which encompassed from Vanderhoof and Prince George in the north to Valemount in the east, just east of Bella Coola in the west and areas southwest of Williams Lake near Tl’esqox (Riske Creek), Tl’etinqox (Anaham), Tsideldel (Redstone) and Xeni Gwet’in (Nemiah Valley).

On Thursday, Sept. 20, Alphonse told the Tribune they had deactivated the roads because of declining moose populations.

“We just want the moose hunters to back off — that’s even for our own hunters,” he said.

Read more: Chief explains TNG position on road blocks, moose hunt

At the Cariboo Regional District board meeting Friday, Area K East Chilcotin director, Betty Anderson, said a constituent had just left her a voice message and there was “trembling” in her voice.

“In my area, people are feeling bullied,” Anderson said. “They are worried because their roads are going to be blocked and they’ve got cattle. There is a pregnant woman needing to get to town, people need to get groceries.”

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