Justice for BC Grizzlies is a diverse grassroots movement of B.C. residents. We share a common concern over the brutal killing of Grizzly Bears in a lottery hunt that takes place twice each year. From March 2016 to May 2017, we worked tirelessly, using many strategies, to make the grizzly hunt an election issue in BC. In this we were successful. Now we maintain that momentum by working with political allies, NGOs, and other citizen groups to form a collective voice that will end the grizzly hunt.
The first Grizzly Bear I ever saw lived in a cage in Stanley Park Zoo. I was very young, but even at the tender age of 5 could grasp the pitiful living conditions of that poor lovely creature. The next was a 16 year old Momma grizz with three 4-month old cubs, fresh out of hibernation and grazing on the beach of their home range in the Great Bear Rainforest. Seeing grizzlies for the first time in their natural setting is a surreal experience; somewhat comparable perhaps to the impact it would have if the Wooly Mammoth at the Royal BC Museum suddenly came to life and began wandering around the building. There’s just nothing to compare it to! The scale, the strength, the grandeur of these bears is so impressive – and so quiet! In their presence, I quickly sank into the experience of the bears and their surrounding panorama, at a more cellular than cognitive awareness, registering that, yes, we share the earth with these magnificent creatures. It is the most wonderful thing to be in awe of the scale and rhythm on which Grizzly Bears live their lives. Anything that evokes wonder is precious; worthy of value for its own sake. What good is human consciousness if not to recognize wonder when we see it and to reflect upon the lives of other beings that have value in and of themselves?
Bears are a powerful symbol of courage and inner wisdom; in some cultures referred to as “Elder Kinsman”. In February 2016, after nine years of writing letters, signing petitions, attending rallies, etc. to oppose the grizzly hunt, I decided to take a leap of faith and launch a website to see who else was out there. With the assistance of some helpful grizzly advocates, Justice for BC Grizzlies was born. From March 2016 to May 2017, we dedicated ourselves to building our profile in the media, and in the minds of B.C. citizens. Our goal was to make the grizzly trophy hunt a 2017 B.C. election issue, with the ultimate vision of ending all intentional killing of grizzlies in the province. We successfully raised the profile of the grizzly hunt and now move to the next stage of collaboration with political allies, NGOs and other citizen groups, to make the grizzly hunt a thing of the past. Always top of mind is respect for grizzlies as individualistic personalities, within a culture that is gravely disrespected through bi-annual, government-sanctioned trophy hunts.
I believe that decency and respect toward animals cultivates greater decency and respect between people. There are better ways to engage with other species than the government is currently enacting; in my view, a movement toward compassionate conservation and a broad ecological approach is the forward-thinking direction. By eliminating one layer of lethal challenge, among the many that grizzlies already face, and with ethics top of mind, human-grizzly coexistence can become a reality in British Columbia.
Val Murray, June 1 2017
All views shared on this website are mine alone and I take full responsiblity for them. However, there is a core of trusted advisors who contribute to the value of this work in ways that are immeasurable and to them I owe a debt of gratitude.
Sherry Adams ~ Kimberley
Karen Brown ~ Invermere
Gosia Bryja ~ Vancouver
Kelly Carson ~ Victoria
Sylvia Dolson ~ Whistler
Jim Lawrence ~ Kaslo
Cas Sowa ~ Smithers
This website is a meeting place for respectful dialogue, education and informed advocacy in support of BC Grizzly Bears.