Cecil the lion always ‘belonged’ to trophy hunters.
He lived in the wild but on borrowed time.
Cecil’s time was up when trophy hunter Palmer decided it was.
And so it is with entire ecosystems across the world.
Alberta is no different.
Alberta has sold/given crown land rights away to extraction companies, ranchers and hunters decades ago.
In doing so, Alberta has privatized chunks of crown land and abandoned its role as steward to become a landlord.
Often, a very generous landlord.
Wild animals and their habitats, a cherished public heritage, are now at the mercy of short-sighted private industry groups.
And so every year, the charade of evaluating secretive information (not accessible to public) about Wildies to decide their fate has become a disappointing winter ritual.
But really who owns the Wildies?
Isn’t it time for Alberta to transition back from a landlord role to one of stewardship?
The conflict of nature’s ownership, Wildies in clearcut area by Duane Starr Photography
Dr. Judith Samson-French