45 signators call for an end to all Grizzly Bear killing, province-wide in B.C.!

OPEN LETTER TO THE BC GOVERNMENT OPPOSING THE GRIZZLY BEAR “MEAT HUNT”

 

October 14 2017

We, the undersigned 45 environmental and animal welfare organzations, wildlife-based businesses, and independent activists, are pleased that the current BC government is committed to end the trophy hunt of grizzly bears. However we strongly oppose the government’s plans to allow continued grizzly bear hunt- ing, under the pretext of hunting for meat, except for a jointly-regulated First Nations ceremonial/sustenance hunt. Part of the Great Bear Rainforest would have a total ban on hunting, but that’s only a very small part of grizzly bear habi- tat in BC. We oppose the meat hunt for the following reasons:

1. Grizzly bears are a species at risk. They are blue-listed in BC, and threat- ened by poaching, human conflicts, habitat destruction and hunting. They have disappeared from 18% of their range in BC. (1) Out of 56 grizzly bear subpopulations in BC, 9 are classified as “threatened” by British Co- lumbia.

2. We expect to see much trophy hunting continued under the guise of “meat” hunting. In the past, almost all grizzly bear hunting has been tro- phy hunting. Many hunters find the meat unpalatable. Grizzly bears were included by BC Fish & Wildlife with non-game animals such as wolver- ines, wolves and cougars. Previously, BC hunting regulations have had a provision allowing hunters to leave the meat on the ground and take only the trophy parts. People do not travel hundreds or thousands of kilome- tres, pay tens of thousands of dollars, and risk their lives shooting at griz- zly bears to put meat on the table. The proposed new regulations for meat hunting will simply disguise trophy hunting as meat hunting. Even if the head, hide and claws are left on the ground, or given to a conservation officer, the hunter will take away trophy videos, photographs and brag- ging rights. The bears will still be killed for sport.

The BC government is considering various options to distinguish trophy hunting from meat hunting, but they only increase our conviction that this division is unenforceable. For many years BC has been unable to control substantial poaching of bears, how will it account for every trophy part of every bear shot by hunters?

3. The government has claimed the grizzly hunt is sustainable. However, independent biologists have been saying for years that this is not true. We do not even know with certainty how many grizzly bears there are in BC, or how many can be killed without reducing the population. Peer-re- viewed studies by scientists have found numerous cases of too many bears being killed (by all causes), even according to the government’s own pop- ulation numbers. Studies have proven that hunters often kill too many fe- male bears. The European Union investigated BC’s grizzly bear hunt, ruled it environmentally unsustainable, and banned the import of trophies.

4. Closing the meat hunt in a limited area will concentrate hunting in other areas. While the government proposes to stop all grizzly bear hunting in part of the Great Bear Rainforest, this is only a small part of grizzly bear habitat across BC. Grizzly bear hunting in this area will simply move to other coastal and interior areas of the province.

In addition, the undersigned object to the following aspects of the public con- sultation process for the new grizzly bear hunting regulations.

1. The process only considers how to manage the meat hunt, not whether there should even be a meat hunt. Participants are forced to accept the meat hunt as fait accompli.

2. Poor public access to information. Only those who sign confidentiality agreements can have access to some important information. Only those willing to sign the confidentiality agreements can be “stakeholders”, which receive priority consultation. The government has not released a complete list of stakeholders. The process was not advertised until recently, when it had already been running about a month, unbe- knownst to many undersigned organizations. The confidentiality agree- ments represent muzzling of public organizations and suppressing information.

In June of this year, 23 organizations concerned with the welfare of wildlife sent a letter to the BC government that stated: “The wildlife of the province belongs to all British Columbians, and has by law been held by the govern- ment in trust.” The letter came about because the provincial government had been giving hunting organizations and related businesses priority access to consultation on matters related to wildlife, resulting in glaring policy bias.

Today the undersigned organizations and businesses are seeking increased recognition by the government that BC wildlife belongs to all Canadians, who have an equal stake in how it is managed, and an equal right to relevant infor- mation. We expect proportionate representation in all provincial wildlife mat- ters. BC has over 1,500 species at risk. Recognizing the worldwide biodiversity crisis, the management of our wildlife must shift away from max- imizing how many animals hunters can kill, to the practice of conservation biology to ensure the survival of species at risk.

We hold that the upcoming Auditor General’s report on the grizzly bear hunt — which was due to be released in September — is critical information for all parties to have before making decisions on this issue. Rushing to change the hunting regulations before the report is released wastes the tax dollars that have been spent to better inform decision-making. We urge the BC govern- ment not to authorize any further grizzly bear hunting until it has done a full review of public input and the soon-to-be released Auditor General’s report.

Sincerely,

45 Signators

References

1. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Grizzly Bear of Canada, https://www.registrelep- sararegistry.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=A32186C4-1&offset=9

2. Artelle, K. A., Anderson, S. C., Cooper, A. B., Paquet, P. C., Reynolds, J. D., Darimont, C. T., “Confronting Uncertainty in Wildlife Management: Performance of Grizzly Bear Management,” PLOS ONE, Nov. 2013, Vol. 8, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078 041&type=printable

Environmental Organizations

Applied Conservation GIS, Baden Cross

BC Nature, Dr. Alan Burger

Bears Matter, Barb Murray

Canadians for Bears, Ainslie Willock

Clayoquot Action, Bonny Glambeck

Craighead Institute, Dr. Lance Craighead

David Suzuki Foundation, Faisal Moola

DeerSafe, Kelly Carson

Friends of the Lardeau, Rhonda Batchelor

Friends of Nemaiah, Dave Williams

Justice for BC Grizzlies, Valerie Murray

Lifeforce Foundation, Peter Hamilton

Pacific Wild,Lindsay Marie Stewart

Purcell Alliance for Wilderness, Gary Diers

Save-the-Cedar League, Rick and Julie Zammuto

SeaLegacy

Stop the Grizzly Killing Society, Trish Boyum

The Fur-Bearers, Lesley Fox

Tourists against Trophy Hunting, Judy Malone

Valhalla Wilderness Society, Wayne McCrory, R.P.Bio.

Wildlife Defence League, Tommy Knowles

Wolf Awareness Incorporated, Sadie Parr

 

Animal Welfare Organizations

Animal Advocates of BC, judy@animaladvocates.com

Animal Alliance of Canada, Liz White

Animal Justice, Camille Labchuck

Animal Protection Party of Canada, Liz White

BC SPCA,Dr. Sara Dubois

Humane Society International /Canada, Julie MacInnes

Zoocheck Canada, Julie Woodyer

 

First Nations
First Nations Environmental Network, Suzanne Lawson

Kwiakah First Nation, Frank Voelker

 

Nature-based Businesses/ Scientists/Artists/Photographers

Dr. Barrie Gilbert, Research Ecologist, Utah State University

Cas Sowa, Photographer

Craig Wardle Photography, Craig Wardle

Ellie Lamb,Artist/Bear Viewing Guide

George Rammell, Grizzly bear activist

Great Bear Chalet, Jefferson Bray

Ocean Adventures Charter Co., Eric Boyum

Kootenay Reflections Photography, Jim Lawrence

Khutzeymateen Wilderness Lodge, Jamie Hahn

Ocean Light II Adventures, Jenn Broom

Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours Inc., Ronda and Gary Murdock

Steve Williamson Photography, Steve Williamson

West Coast Wild Art, Leanne Hodges

Photo credit: Cas Sowa http://stikinewildimages.ca

 

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Marja Kokkonen says:

    Hope the grizzly bear hunt will be total stopped and those beautiful animals wil stay on this planet and we can come to see them sometimes. Thank you for the protection of the gizzlies.

    Like

  2. You will be welcome any time, Marja. Thank you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Tony Brumell says:

    Why do politicians think that saying one thing and doing another is all part of the game.Andrew Weaver along with John Horgan said they would stop the trophy killing of Grizzlies.they must ,if they are to retain any integrity follow up on their statements and actually stop all Grizzly hunting.
    Al Gore says he is a “recovering politician”.I believe that Horgan et al should recover their honesty for the sake of the bears.Bear photography is much more daring than murdering one at 500 yards with a weatherby 460.With a camera “Fair chase ” can work both ways.It’s much more challenging that way.

    Like

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