Monday, August 30, 2010
Title: Policy for Protecting Agricultural Property from Elk Ministry:
Ministry of Natural Resources
Date Proposal loaded to the Registry: August 30, 2010
Description of Policy:
Between 1998 and 2001 the Ministry of Natural Resources (MNR), in collaboration with many partners and volunteers, released 443 elk from Elk Island National Park in Alberta at four locations (Bancroft, Blind River, south of Sudbury and south of Kenora) across the province as part of an elk restoration program. Since 1998, monitoring has revealed that restored elk herds have grown, dispersed and in some areas struggled with adapting to Ontario’s diverse landscape patterns and uses.
In 2009, following public and stakeholder consultation, the Ministry released Ontario’s Cervid Ecological Framework which provides overarching provincial guidance for the sustainable management of all Ontario’s cervid species (moose, deer, caribou and elk). Consistent with the Cervid Ecological Framework, and in response to the need for more species specific guidance for the management of Ontario’s elk populations, the Ministry released an Elk Management Plan in 2010, following public and stakeholder consultations. The plan includes a number of objectives and strategic actions to guide management decisions that support sustainable and healthy elk populations, including objectives and strategies aimed at specifically addressing human-elk conflicts.
Ontario’s overall policy approach related to addressing conflict with wildlife, as a public resource, is to provide landowners with the tools and information to prevent and mitigate conflict and associated damage. The Strategy for Preventing and Managing Human-Wildlife Conflicts in Ontario provides overarching policy direction to address human-wildlife conflict in Ontario.
Consistent with this broad provincial approach, the Elk Management Plan refers to the need for tools to help address the impact of human-elk conflicts. In response to this need, the government amended the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Act (FWCA) to add American elk to the list of species that can be harassed, captured or killed in accordance with authorization from the Ministry of Natural Resources (s. 31(3)). The proposed Policy for Protecting Agricultural Property from Elk provides direction for the issuance of authorizations to harass or kill elk that are causing or are about to cause damage to agricultural property. The proposal outlines the process and prerequisites to obtaining an authorization and outlines the conditions of their use.
Purpose of Policy:
To consult on a proposed Policy for Protecting Agricultural Property from Elk, as part of a provincial management program intended to support self-sustaining elk populations for the continuous provision of ecological, cultural, economic and social benefits to the people of Ontario.
The following weblinks provide supporting/ additional information about this notice:
Proposed Policy for Protecting Agricultural Property from Elk
Proposed Policy for Protecting Agricultural Property from Elk – Executive Summary
Elk Management in Ontario website
The ministry is currently consulting on several other components of elk management through the Environmental Registry to support a comprehensive elk management program in Ontario, including:
Proposed Elk Population Objective Setting Guidelines (Registry Number 011-0743)
Proposed Elk Harvest Allocation System (Registry Number 011-0741)
Proposed Elk Harvest Management Guidelines (Registry Number 011-0744)
Proposed Regulations to establish an Elk Hunt (Registry Number 011-0746)
Proposed Elk Population Objective for the Bancroft-North Hastings Area Herd (Registry Number 011-0742)
More information on these proposals can be found by searching the appropriate Registry Number at www.ontario.ca/environmentalregistry
This proposal has been posted for a 45 day public review and comment period starting August 30, 2010. If you have any questions, or would like to submit your comments, please do so by October 14, 2010 to the individual listed under "Contact". Additionally, you may submit your comments on-line.
All comments received prior to October 14, 2010 will be considered as part of the decision-making process by the Ministry of Natural Resources if they are submitted in writing or electronically using the form provided in this notice and reference EBR Registry number 011-0745.
Please Note: All comments and submissions received will become part of the public record. You will not receive a formal response to your comment, however, relevant comments received as part of the public participation process for this proposal will be considered by the decision maker for this proposal.
Other Public Consultation Opportunities:
Preliminary consultation has occurred with local farmers and landowners in the Bancroft area (i.e., the area where the majority of human-elk conflicts are occurring), as well as key provincial stakeholders. Select focused stakeholder meetings may be arranged to consult further with interested parties.