January 1 2018
Dear Provincial Government,
January 1 always arrives like a breath of fresh air. I hope it feels that way for you too. THANK YOU for ending the grizzly hunt; it was the only thing you could do. The people of BC clearly expressed their values on this issue and we thank you for listening.
Through the consultation process, you received submissions across the spectrum of “stakeholders”. Clearly, wildlife conservation science has grown exponentially in BC since the grizzly hunt was last ended in 2001. We’re in a new era of knowledge now. We can thank the scientific expertise of such groups as Raincoast Conservation Foundation and Valhalla Wilderness Society for educating British Columbians on what needs to happen for wildlife and wilderness protection in the province. Add to that the number of British Columbians who have personally observed animals like Grizzy Bears in their natural settings, and benefitted from the knowledge of wildlife viewing guides. Then add to that the dedicated commitment of professionals such as John E. Marriott, Jim Lawrence and Ian McAllister, whose visual images and intimate observations of wildlife constantly educate and inspire us. Then add to that the recommendations from the 2016 Auditor General’s report; and you have a forward-thinking vision for contemporary wildlife science and ethics in the province.
With so much informed advocacy and a government wiling to draw upon it, BC is poised to be a leader in charting new directions for wildlife protection.
British Columbians are smart people who know that the time has come to cultivate better relationships with other species, especially as our landscape is altered by climate change and human activity. Loss of biodiversity is complex, cumulative and very often not readily apparent until it is too late; and then we panic to save what we can. We cannot continue to rely on a roller coaster of “species numbers” in a “resource population” to make wildlife management decisions; the time for that is long past. What better way to initiate a new chapter for wildlife than by ending the deliberate killing of BC grizzlies twice a year. Well done!
I truly wish you all the very best in 2018.
One can do “good science” and still feel for animals, and indeed, we’ve already seen that compassion and concern for animals can produce better science. Once this knowledge becomes integrated, business as usual will look very different. ~ Marc Bekoff ~