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Wolves still haven’t been caught in Port Edward

District council briefs from Feb. 12 meeting include Diana Lake and an update on wolves in the area
Briefs from Feb.12 District of Port Edward Council (Pixabay photo)

Wolf sighting follow up

Following the multiple wolf sightings over the past few weeks, members of Port Edward council expressed dissatisfaction that conservation officers have not found or killed any wolves in response.

The district’s administration called the BC Conservation office in Terrace after a resident’s dog was killed by a wolf during the day on Feb. 6.

While three conservation officers were sent to Port Edward that day, their search for the wolves came up empty and subsequent visits over the past few weeks have not yielded success.

Councillor Dan Franzen asked why more was not been done to eliminate the threat of the wolves, who have become steadily more aggressive and bold.

“They should have been either snaring or poisoning them or coming in with a helicopter and … shooting them and thinning them out,” he said. “It’s getting a little ridiculous.”

Council resolved to write a letter to Conservation BC asking for more support to deal with wolves in the area.

In a later interview, Tracy Walbauer, sergeant-in-charge of the North Coast zone of BC Conservation, said officers are not finished with their work in the area, and they will continue to search and will destroy the wolves if they are found.

In response to Franzen’s comments, Walbauer said that the geography surrounding Port Edward can make it difficult to locate wildlife.

In terms of options for elminating the wolves, Walbauer said that poisoning is not an option as it could potentially affect other animals in the area. Snaring has been considered, but Walbauer said care must be taken to ensure that other animals are not affected also. Finally, he said that helicopters are not an efficient way of eliminating wildlife that is in heavily forested areas.

READ MORE: Dog killed in wolf attack in Port Edward

Continued concerns with Diana Lake

Council members expressed continued concerns about debris in Diana Lake at its council meeting on Feb. 12, and discussed what could be done to get it cleaned up by the province.

For years, there have been a number of logs floating in the lake that were cut down decades ago in an effort to elevate its level.

The logs have remained since then, but council members stated a desire to see the debris removed from the lake to improve its usability.

“We’d like to see more of a beach put in there so it can be used as more of a recreational area,” said councillor Murray Smith.

During the meeting, Smith also pointed out that when the water level of Diana Lake rises, debris is funnelled toward the lake’s dam.

“The debris gets jammed up, overflowing the dam and it just creates a man-made beaver dam,” he said.

Diana Lake Park is a provincial park and thus falls under the jurisdiction of BC Parks. Bob Payette, the district’s chief administrative office, said the district has approached the province several times about the issue at UBCM meetings, but has been unable to make any progress.

In the meeting, Port Edward Mayor Knut Bjorndal suggested bringing neighbouring municipalities together and meeting with North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice to discuss possibilities for solutions.

“We need some partners who can partner with us to get action,” Bjorndal said.

READ MORE: Port Edward Council in brief

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Matthew Allen | Reporter
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