Rescind Downie Creek Motor Vehicle for Hunting Closed Area Regulation

Regulation Number: 
2022-04-09
Status: 
Proposed
Region: 
Region 4 - Kootenay
MU: 
4-38
Regulation Type: 
Motor Vehicle Restrictions
Species: 
All species
Closing Date: 
January 23, 2022 at midnight
Decision Statement: 

Pending

Current Regulations: 

Motor vehicle for hunting closed area:  The watershed of Downie Creek including the Sorcerer Creek drainage, upstream of the 15 km sign on the Downie Creek Forest Service Road

Proposed Regulations: 

Remove the Downie Creek including the Sorcerer Creek drainage motor vehicle for hunting closure from regulation.

Rationale: 

Moose within MU 4-38 are an important prey for predators of the Columbia North caribou herd. Ongoing predator control efforts have resulted in the potential for rapid moose population growth. If left unchecked, moose populations could grow to significantly higher densities and could lead to further caribou declines. Moose management in this system relies on high levels of antlerless harvest to maintain stable populations. The Downie Motor Vehicle for Hunting Closed Area includes high quality moose habitat, and the continued existence of this closure counters the intent of high moose harvest pressure. The closure works against the stated management objectives of maintaining high moose harvest pressure within MU 4-38.

The Lake Revelstoke area (MUs 4-38 and 4-39) feature the only antlerless moose hunting within the Kootenay region. Moose populations appear to be relatively stable within MU 4-38 as indicated by recent population surveys. There have not been comprehensive surveys to estimate the distribution of moose withing MU 4-38 during the hunting season. Aerial surveys occur later in the year when snow conditions allow, and after moose have shifted their range according to snow depth. Therefore, it is difficult to know the relative density of moose within the Downie MVHCA as compared to the rest of the LEH zone, but it is anticipated to be high. Recent antlerless harvest appears to be holding the population at stable levels.