Open Letter to Chris Firth-Eagland, HCA

Chris-F-E-6Following, please find an open letter addressed to Chris Firth-Eagland, the new Chief Administrative Officer of the Hamilton Conservation Authority.

This letter deals with the extremely controversial issue of annual deer hunting in the Dundas Valley Conservation Area.

To: Chris Firth-Eagland
Chief Administrative Officer
Hamilton Conservation Authority

I would like to congratulate you on your recent appointment to your new position at the HCA. This is an important assignment, one that is highly appreciated by our local community, as well as by our visitors from outside the area.

At this time, you have most likely received my letter and questions previously addressed to Steve Miazga. I must say that it was not easy to come up with these questions, as the topic of deer hunting in DVCA has many angles and many different justifications have been used to implement it.

In my letter, I have briefly discussed the historical flaws and obvious legal invalidity of the Nanfan Treaty (The 1701 Treaty of Albany). The evidence with respect to the Nanfan Treaty is clear and is based on historical facts.

Being involved in a 5-year study on the patterns of deer movement in Dundas Valley, I am also very sceptical about the accuracy of the assessment of deer numbers conducted by the Ministry of Natural Resources. Based on my data and continuous observations, I have noticed a significant decline in deer numbers in the Dundas Valley – Hamilton area during the last three years. This is a general observation that goes beyond one specific area as Iroquois Heights or the current hunt area in the West end of the DVCA.

There are other concerns as well. They pertain to the lack of ongoing supervision of the hunt and control by the HCA of the number of deer taken on daily basis. You will see references to these concerns in my letter and in my questions.

There also is one fundamental concern that raises above all the other issues involved.

I have carefully read your statements on this topic, as quoted in the media, especially in The Spec’s articles published over the last three years. You are using the arguments of deer overpopulation, overgrazing, and ecological balance. In agreement with the scientifically credible position taken in similar situations by the David Suzuki Foundation, I happen to believe that mother nature takes care of this problem better than the native “scientists” and the native hunting “authority”.

As to the deer overpopulation, you may (or may not at the current time) be technically right but your solution sets a dangerous precedent in a broader philosophical and political sense. Before we accept the concept of killing as a solution to overpopulation, we have to remember that we are the most overpopulated specie on Earth. Some powers above our heads may come to the same conclusion regarding our own overpopulation. Major wars, engineered viruses and other means, justified by economic and environmental “necessity”, may be arranged and employed to solve this problem. According to international law, we would consider this a genocide, a major crime against humanity, wouldn’t we? If you think it impossible, please remember the Nazi solution to what they had perceived as the Jewish problem. It was only 70 years ago and we, humans, haven’t changed much since then, as the history of the last 15 years clearly demonstrates.

I also noticed your concern about the deer-related car accidents. To this, I have to say the following: In order to conduct my study, I have been driving and criss-crossing Dundas Valley every night, when the deer are on the move, for years. I have never hit a deer; I was always able to stop on time. Why? Because I know where I am, I expect them, I obey the signs, and I drive carefully, thinking and predicting what may happen. If people drive carelessly, don’t use their brains, and speed up around the deer crossings, they should be blamed for the resulting accidents, not the deer. Responsibility to drive carefully is part of living in such areas as Dundas Valley. Your concern seems to send a wrong signal to the residents and passers-by. You are excusing and therefore encouraging brainless driving in and around a conservation area. You are saying that there is a problem and that we will solve it by killing the victims. This I have to strongly disagree with.

Thank you, in advance, for your time, help, and consideration. I would like to receive meaningful answers to my concerns and questions, sometime in January. My questions and your answers may be quoted in future publications.

— Name of the sender is included in the original letter —
— Date: December 20, 2012 —

Additional Inquiry, made on December 22, 2012:

To: Chris Firth-Eagland, CAO
HCA

I would like to add one more question to my previous inquiries.

I was looking for some specifics in the protocols mutually agreed upon by the HCA and the HWHA. There were not too many. Actually, aside from the timeline of the hunt and the number of deer to be taken, which nobody really controls, I found only one passage written in a specific, factual language.

In the “Specific Protocol…”, there is the following passage:

“HCA staff and the Haudenosaunee Wildlife and Habitat Authority Members have observed, on the ground in the Dundas  Valley , the continued effects of overgrazing by the large deer herd, including damage to endangered and threatened plant species.”

Since there exists an official list and classification of “species at risk” in Ontario http://www.mnr.gov.on.ca/en/Business/Species/2ColumnSubPage/STEL01_131230.html,

and since there exist independent lists of species at risk, compiled by the First Nations, for example http://www.ojibway.ca/raresp.htm,

I would like to know which classification was used to establish the “endangered and threatened plants species” reference in the above passage. I would also like to know what plants, specifically, were identified as “endangered and threatened” in the DVCA under this “specific protocol”.

Thank you, again, for your time and help.

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