Environment and Conservation
Transportation and Works

April 6, 2015

Managing Resources to Support Responsible Development and Safety

Integrated Approach Moves Moose Management Planning Forward

The Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister of Environment and Conservation, and the Honourable David Brazil, Minister of Transportation and Works, today announced a new five-year moose management plan. The plan will see greater collaboration between government departments and will draw upon scientific research and moose-vehicle collision statistics to create a long-term, coordinated approach to moose management in the province.

“This five-year moose management plan is the strategic document that provides clear direction to meet current and emerging challenges regarding the moose population in our province. The plan builds on successes and innovation in moose management developed by biologists, scientists and researchers and it considers emerging issues and social considerations that are not directly related to hunting. It represents a collaborative effort between a number of government departments to ensure all dimensions of moose management are considered, including efforts to mitigate moose-vehicle collisions.”
- The Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister and Environment and Conservation

The 2015-2020 Moose Management Plan is supported by a five-year investment of more than $1.8 million through Budget 2015. To view the plan, visit the department of Environment and Conservation website, www.env.gov.nl.ca/.

Extensive public consultations carried out in 2012 suggest that while moose vehicle collisions are a significant concern for many people in the province, there are regional differences. As a result, the Moose Management Plan offers a regional approach that reflects these differences in order to balance key factors related to moose management. A map depicting this regional approach can be found with this release online.

Provincial Government relies very heavily on moose hunters to implement its management of moose and the manipulation of hunting quotas is one means to achieve target moose populations. As part of this regional approach to moose management, government is taking a number of actions:

  • Increasing quotas along many of the Moose Management Areas that border the Trans Canada Highway, particularly in areas where statistics indicate high rates of moose-vehicle collisions – such as on the Avalon – to allow hunters to assist in achieving target moose populations; and
  • Implementing two Moose Reduction Zones which will provide greater opportunity for the removal of roadside moose through hunting as well as provide managers with the ability to monitor and assess the effectiveness of such an approach to reducing collision rates.

The effectiveness of this program will be evaluated over three years and changes and/or enhancements to improve the initiative will be incorporated into subsequent plans. Further information on the new Moose Reduction Zones and quotas can be found in the backgrounder below.

As part of this regional approach to moose management, government will be increasing quotas along many of the Moose Management Areas that border the Trans Canada Highway, particularly in areas where statistics indicate high rates of moose-vehicle collisions – such as on the Avalon. In addition, the Provincial Government will implement two Moose Reduction Zones which will provide greater opportunity for the removal of roadside moose through hunting as well as provide managers with the ability to monitor and assess the effectiveness of such an approach to reducing collision rates. The effectiveness of this program will be evaluated over three years and changes and/or enhancements to improve the initiative will be incorporated into subsequent plans. Further information on the new Moose Reduction Zones and quotas can be found in the backgrounder below.

“A new, coordinated approach will ensure that consideration and planning to lessen the incidence of moose-vehicle collisions is now an essential part of moose management planning overall. It’s an approach that will complement key mitigation efforts that are proven to work. This includes public awareness work in partnership with the Save Our People Action Committee to raise public awareness, and a commitment to maintain the increased budget of $2 million announced last year for brush-cutting, despite our current fiscal situation. One motor vehicle collision is one too many, and we remain committed to working to minimize accidents on our highways.”
- The Honourable David Brazil, Minister of Transportation and Works

Moose management in the province will be complemented by several actions to help address the issue of moose-vehicle collisions. They are:

  • Increase public awareness
  • Continue brush-cutting and herbicide treatment
  • Continue monitoring of wildlife fencing
  • Investigate emerging technologies

Information about each of these mitigation initiatives is provided in the backgrounder below.

In addition to the management measures outlined above, fees for moose, caribou, black bear, small game and trapper’s licences have changed, effective April 1. In addition, small game and coyote licences have been combined into one licence and a new fee implemented as well. The table of new fees as of April 1, 2015, can be found in the backgrounder below.

QUICK FACTS

  • The Provincial Government today announced its plans for moose management in the province, including the release of the 2015-2020 Moose Management Plan. To view the plan, as well as the 2012 Moose Management Public Consultation Summary document visit www.env.gov.nl.ca/.
  • As part of a regional approach to moose management designed to test the effectiveness of targeted, near road moose removals in order to mitigate moose vehicle collisions, two Moose Reduction Zones have been identified and will provide greater opportunity for the removal of near road moose through hunting.
  • Steps to address moose-vehicle collisions are initiatives that are proven to work such as public awareness and brush cutting. In addition, further monitoring and analysis will be done on the use of wildlife fencing.
  • The Evaluation of Moose-Vehicle Collision Mitigation Pilot Initiatives can be found at www.tw.gov.nl.ca/publications/Evaluation of Moose-Vehicle Collision Mitigation Pilot Initiatives.pdf.
  • The 2015-2020 Moose Management Plan is supported by a five-year investment of more than $1.8 million through Budget 2015.

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The Honourable David Brazil, Minister of Transportation and Works, and the Honourable Dan Crummell, Minister of Environment and Conservation, announced a five-year moose management plan on Monday, April 6, 2015.

Media contacts:

Jennifer Collingwood
Director of Communications
Department of Environment and Conservation
709-729-2575, 689-8605
jennifercollingwood@gov.nl.ca
Jacquelyn Howard
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 689-2624
jacquelynhoward@gov.nl.ca

BACKGROUNDER
Environment and Conservation

Additional Information about the Provincial Government’s Coordinated Approach to Moose Management

Moose Reduction Zones

Two Moose Reduction Zones have been identified and will provide greater opportunity for the removal of near road moose through hunting.

The zones will be a maximum of six kilometres wide – three kilometres on either side of the highway from the shoulder. One zone will be located along the Trans Canada Highway between Gander and Grand Falls-Windsor (Central Moose Reduction Zone, Moose Management Area 101) and the other will be along the Trans-Canada Highway between St. John’s and Clarenville, including Veteran’s Memorial Drive (Avalon Moose Reduction Zone, Moose Management Area 100).

There will be 200 either-sex licences available in the Central Moose Reduction Zone and 300 either-sex licences for the Avalon Moose Reduction Zone. An earlier rifle season opening is being implemented in the zones for licence holders. The Avalon Moose Reduction Zone will open September 19, 2015, and close January 31, 2016. Licence holders may hunt during that season and within this zone with either rifle or bow. The Central Moose Reduction Zone will open August 29, 2015, and close December 27, 2015. Licence holders may hunt during that season and within this MMA with either rifle or bow. There is no additional pre-season bow hunting in either zone for licence holders.

Licence and Fee Changes, effective April 1, 2015

The following Licence Types have seen fee changes. (Listed prices do not include HST or Vendor fees):

Licence Type Old Fee New Fee
Moose Licence
Resident $40.00 $52.00
Resident (Senior) $26.00 $33.80
Non-Resident $335.00 $502.00
Caribou Licence (Newfoundland)
Resident $40.00 $52.00
Resident (Senior) $26.00 $33.80
Non-Resident $450.00 $675.00
Black Bear Licence
Resident (Labrador) $27.00 $35.10
Resident (Labrador) (Senior) $17.55 $22.80
Resident (Application) $30.00 $39.00
Resident (Application) (Senior) $20.55 $25.35
Non-Resident $100.00 $150.00
Small Game (Ptarmigan/Grouse/Hare) & Coyote Licence
Resident Small Game/Coyote (Combined) free $10.00
Resident Small Game/Coyote (Senior) free $6.50
Non-Resident Small Game/Coyote (Canadian) $25.00 $50.00
Non-Resident Small Game/Coyote (Alien) $50.00 $100.00
Trapper’s Licence
General Trapper’s Licence $10.00 $15.00
General Trapper’s Licence (Senior) $6.50 $9.75
Beaver Trapline Licence (Island) $10.00 $15.00
Beaver Trapline Licence (Island) (Senior) $6.50 $9.75

Changes to Licence Types
Small Game and Coyote licences have been combined as one licence type and a new fee of $10 has been implemented.

Seniors
Licence fees for seniors have also been increased, however the 35 per cent discount has remained in effect. For a senior (aged 65 years and older), a licence will still cost 35 per cent less than the same licence purchased by a non-senior.

Moose Population Estimate
Current Island moose population is estimated at approximately 112,069

Regional Approach
As noted through the extensive public consultation process, while moose vehicle collisions are a significant concern for many people in the province, there are regional differences. As a result, the Moose Management Plan takes a regional approach that reflects the different expectations with regard to balancing all factors related to moose management.
Category I: East Coast & Avalon – heightened social considerations
Category II: TCH MMAs – directed management actions for MVCs
Category III: Remaining MMAs – application of biological approach

BACKGROUNDER
Transportation and Works
Measures to Reduce the Incidence of Moose-Vehicle Collisions

Steps to address and reduce the number of moose-vehicle collisions in the province will now be integrated into overall moose management planning. This coordinated approach, aided by the establishment of the interdepartmental working group, will complement key mitigation efforts that are proven to work. These actions are:

Public Awareness
Despite the risk of moose-vehicle collisions, speeding on highways continues to be an issue. Public awareness is critical to shift driving habits and instill an understanding of the need to stay within or under speed limits. In partnership with Save Our People Action Committee (SOPAC), the Department of Transportation and Works will enhance public awareness efforts, with a particular focus on increased signage.

Brush Cutting
Last year, the budget for brush cutting was doubled to $2 million. This level of funding will be maintained. Areas selected for brush cutting are areas of high moose-vehicle collisions and heavy growth. The Collision Data Management System will be used to identify areas for more frequent clearing. In addition, herbicide treatment will continue to be used to control growth once clearing has been completed.

Wildlife Fencing
This mitigation measure has proven to be effective in some jurisdictions to some degree. There are mixed results. The Department of Transportation and Works will continue to collect data and monitor the pilot project fence installed on the TCH west of Gallants Road (Route 402) junction to east of Barachois Pond Provincial Park.

Technology
Seeking new ways to address issues and resolve challenges is a hallmark of innovation and progressive thinking. The Department of Transportation and Works will investigate and assess emerging technologies being employed in other jurisdictions, recognizing that it is important to allow sufficient time for data collection, in order to get the most accurate picture of its effectiveness.

In addition to the initiatives above, the Department of Transportation and Works will continue with collection of data and data analysis. Having accurate, timely research is critical for determining the best course of action to take. In 2012, the new Collision Data Management System was introduced. About five years of data is needed to best inform decisions. Therefore, exact location collision data will continue to be collected using the collision system. Complementary to this, data collection for estimating moose populations and density will be enhanced through the Department of Environment and Conservation.

2015 04 06                              2:30 p.m.