(Conservation Northwest, Stock photo)

Port Edward council updates on wolf attacks and work camp lease extended

Mayor Knut Bjorndal raises concern, at June 11 council, over dumping in slough

Conservation officers from Terrace gave an update on the wolves in the District of Port Edward at Tuesday’s council meeting.

April 2 was the last time the COs received a call regarding a wolf sighting in the area.

The district’s administration called the Conservation Service office in Terrace after a resident’s dog was killed by a wolf during the day on Feb. 6, 2019. Council asked for more support to deal with wolves in the area.

“I believe at that time, during breeding season, the wolves were coming in and finding the entrapments of the deer on the outskirts, and of course the feral cat problem, so I believe once those entrapments were limited or eliminated they moved. So maybe that’s why we aren’t receiving those calls,” said Zane Testawich, area conservation officer.

READ MORE: Dog killed in wolf attack in Port Edward

READ MORE: Wolves still haven’t been caught in Port Edward

Testawich said they placed cameras and snares in safe areas where residents could not get harmed. During their search only two wolves were killed, one hit by a vehicle and another by a train, but the conservation team had not seen or killed any wolves themselves. He also said, no municipal workers they spoke to had reported a wolf sighting since their last call in April.

Councillor Dan Franzen expressed disappointment that there is no conservation officers stationed in the district or in the City of Prince Rupert. Mayor Knut Bjorndal said that both municipalities will be working together at the upcoming Union of B.C. Municipalities (UBCM) meeting in September to pressure the province for an officer in the region. There are also no officers stationed in Kitimat, leaving Terrace as the closest station in the event of an incident.

Concern over rock dumping in slough

At the end of the council meeting Bjorndal brought up concern over infilling in the slough on the south side of the roadway going into the old pulp mill site by Morrison Bay, which he said is being coordinated by the City of Prince Rupert. Bjorndal said it seemed like water was running from the slough. He fears dumping the rock on top of sediment, which he said he believes is likely contaminated might cause environmental issues.

Council passed a resolution to write a letter to the ministry to test to see if there will be any adverse affects on the environment.

Work camps extend lease

Council voted to renew the lease for the worker’s camp operated by Mike Coin for another three years. The camp houses temporary employees working on construction projects on Ridley Island. Coin said interest was expressed by Pembina and other companies with large projects underway to use the camp. Councillor Murray Kristoff excused himself from the room due to conflict of interest because the camp is operated by Kristoff Holdings Inc.

Other council news

Lisa Helps, Mayor for the City of Victoria, wrote a letter to council asking for their support at September’s UBCM meeting where she plans to present a letter to the province asking for financial assistance with municipal libraries. Although the district does not own their own library, they voted to add their names to the letter of support saying it is too big an expense for municipalities to take on alone.

The next council meeting is scheduled for June 25.

Jenna Cocullo | Journalist
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An earlier version of this article stated that the Mayor Bjorndal was concerned over Pembina dumping in slough, when infact he had stated it was coordinated by the City of Prince Rupert. Pembina is not the party dumping fill into the slough and it is not in anyway connected to Pembina’s operation. We apologize for the miscommunication and any confusion or inconvenience this may have caused.

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