END THE BC GRIZZLY HUNT!
Help BC Grizzly Bears by contacting political candidates in your riding and ask for #TrophyFreeBC + #BanTrophyHunting.
Our Thunderclap campaign to Ban the Grizzly Hunt in British Columbia launched on March 10/17 with 304 supporters and a social reach of over 500, 000. That campaign is now closed. Thank you to all who joined this campaign and helped to get this time-sensitive message out there.
NOW is the time to take this campaign to the next critical step. We ask all BC residents to take action by contacting political candidates in their riding, and elsewhere in BC, and asking them where they stand on ending the BC grizzly hunt.
TAKING ACTION IS EASY TO DO!
1. Go to https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com/2017-provincial-election-grizzly-survey-results/ and check your riding to see which candidates have responded to the survey that asked where they stand on the BC grizzly hunt. If a candidate in your riding has not responded to the survey, call and ask them to do so.
2. Stay on this page where you will find information, links and three sample letters that you can use verbatim, or adapt with your own words. These letters can be sent online or surface mail to candidates in your riding and to politicians currently in government. Addresses for key political leaders can be found at https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com/pledge-for-grizzlies-campaign/ where you can also take the pledge for grizzlies.
PLEASE STAND UP FOR BC GRIZZLIES!
ABOUT JUSTICE FOR BC GRIZZLIES
Justice for BC Grizzlies is a diverse grassroots movement of BC residents. We share a common concern over the brutal killing of Grizzly Bears in a lottery hunt that takes place twice each year. Together we are making the grizzly hunt an election issue in British Columbia. We’re working to ensure that voters have the information they need to let candidates know that grizzly hunting is unacceptable and that we will work to elect candidates who commit to ending it.
Conservation science can inform us in many ways. It must be kept in mind, however, that scientific knowledge is always set within the bounds of uncertainty inherent in dynamic and complex ecological systems. Our knowledge is only as good as the data we have and it is never complete. Science alone cannot tell us how to resolve our conflicts with other forms of life. It can’t describe how species evolve in unexpected ways, or predict where thresholds lay beyond which recovery may no longer be possible. For these reasons, we must look to ethics when addressing questions of moral responsibility toward wildlife conservation and ecological health. Ethics must be at the core of any discussion regarding the protection of grizzlies; the majority of BC residents have already reached this consensus.
Grizzly Bears are a species of intelligence and complex emotions. We are morally obliged to learn how to respect and coexist with them. Our super natural province is the last remaining refuge for Grizzly Bears in Canada. BC residents have made it clear that intentionally killing them violates our ethical standards. We are letting political candidates know we are making this an election issue and will support candidates who promise to work to immediately remove the twice yearly grizzly hunt.
CALL TO ACTION
We need your help! Please join us to oppose the twice yearly lottery hunt of Grizzly Bears. Help politicians understand that if they commit to ending the Grizzly Bear trophy hunt, we will do everything we can to make sure they are elected.
On January 18 2017, BC political candidates received a survey from Justice for BC Grizzlies, asking for their response to four simple questions:
- How do you rate your knowledge of BC Grizzly Bears and the grizzly hunt?
- Are you in favor or opposed to the grizzly hunt?
- Do you believe that most British Columbians oppose killing Grizzly Bears. including for sport (trophy hunting)?
4. Do you think that BC voters are more likely to support a party that ends the grizzly hunt, as the NDP have vowed to do?
Candidate responses are posted at https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com/2017-provincial-election-grizzly-survey-results/
Help us put more pressure on all B.C. political candidates. Let them know how you feel about the Grizzly Bear hunt. Contact candidates in your riding by email, letter, phone and/or social media messaging.
Ask candidates to:
1) End the Grizzly Bear hunt in BC and
2) Complete the survey sent to them by Justice for BC Grizzlies
Three sample letters are provided for your convenience, followed by additional points of information that you can add if you wish.
SAMPLE LETTER ONE
I’m writing to voice my opposition to the Grizzly Bear hunt in BC. I’m asking you to ban this barbaric hunt which 91 per cent of BC residents oppose. This is not an urban versus rural issue, as claimed by the BC Liberal Government. Two polls – in 2015 and 2016 – by Insights West confirmed the percentage of those opposed to grizzly hunting is exactly the same in all parts of the province, whether urban or rural.
We are asking political candidates to make clear how they stand on the Grizzly Bear hunt.
Please complete the survey provided to you by Justice for BC Grizzlies and say No to the grizzly hunt.
SAMPLE LETTER TWO
I am writing to you about the BC Grizzly Bear hunt. I believe it:
- disrespects First Nations respect for wildlife;
- disregards the values of the majority of British Columbians who oppose grizzly hunting; and
- is not in keeping with ethical wildlife conservation
British Columbians have made clear they see Grizzly Bears are iconic, individualistic animals of intelligence and feeling that have unique needs for ranges that provide suitable food, mating and denning opportunities.
British Columbians understand Grizzly Bears face a barrage of overlapping pressures due to human development and ecological changes. They also understand that grizzlies experience pain and suffering just as we do.
Grizzly Bears also face deliberate killing twice a year. This is one layer of lethal challenge that can be eliminated with just a pen stroke.
You can do something about this. You’re running for office. Let British Columbians know where you stand.
Please complete the survey provided to you by Justice for BC Grizzlies and say No to the Grizzly Bear hunt.
SAMPLE LETTER THREE
We often hear political candidates talk about the importance of the local economy in producing jobs and spin-offs.
Do you support local economic growth? If so, then we are asking you to stand up and say so by opposing the twice-annual Grizzly Bear hunt.
Every day, eco-tourists from around the globe arrive in BC eager to experience our province’s natural bounty. And these tourists are prepared to pay top dollar for this experience.
Bear viewing now generates 10 times more employment, tourist spending and government revenue than trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest alone.
Did you know that Grizzly Bear hunters only contribute approximately $34,000 annually toward grizzly conservation programs through a 20-30 per cent surcharge on licenses and tag fees? And that resident hunters kill about 60 per cent of Grizzly Bears for a paltry $80 tag? Does this make sense to you?
We’d like to know where you stand on local economic growth. Please complete the survey provided to you by Justice for BC Grizzlies and say No to the Grizzly Bear hunt.
ADDITIONAL POINTS YOU MAY WISH TO ADD TO YOUR LETTER
The Stanford-CREST study suggests the revenue generated by fees and licences affiliated with the trophy killing of grizzlies fails to cover the cost of the province’s management of the hunt. As a result, B.C. taxpayers, most of whom oppose the hunt according to poll after poll, are in essence being forced to subsidize the trophy killing of grizzlies.
Ecotourists are horrified to discover that bears who are viewed may also be killed in a hunt, particularly given that resident hunters pay only $80 to kill a Grizzly Bear.
The grizzly hunt tarnishes BC’s reputation as a natural wilderness destination of intact ecosystems.
Population estimates of Grizzly Bears vary widely – from 6,000 to 15,000.
Government relies on “best available science”, which is rife with uncertainty.
In the past 37 years alone, Grizzly Bears in Canada have gone from a designation of “not-at’risk’ to “special concern” and “vulnerable”, with 9 population units now listed as “threatened” in Southern BC.
The range contraction of BC grizzlies is evidence of a pattern of retrenchment that cannot be ignored or predicted by scientific models.
Bears are a keystone species that entire ecosystems depend upon for spreading seeds and nutrients throughout their entire range.
We are in an era of human-dominated influence, known as the Anthropocene epoch, in which uncertainty, surprise and complexity cannot be methodically predicted by ecological models. The unexpected 40 per cent decline of grizzly population in the Elk Valley of B.C., primarily from car and train collisions, is a stark example of this.
The North American Wildlife Conservation Model is an outdated set of principles with foundational roots going back to the late 1800s (white male) hunting ideology. It is an inadequate construct for conservation in current times of flux and uncertainty. The model also ignores the role of non-hunters and nature enthusiasts who are shaping the conservation movement today.
The language used in scientific literature generally sterilizes the reality of killing sentient animals by using terms such as “harvest” and “cull”, and orients public attention more toward alienation from, rather than connection to, Grizzly Bears. The primary goal appears to be sustaining a hunt-able population of grizzlies rather than strengthening coexistence with them.
Grizzly Bears are highly individualistic animals who experience pain and suffering, just as humans do.
Science must be guided by ethics: what we can do may not be what we should do and this applies to grizzly trophy hunting.
All grizzly hunting is trophy hunting.
Western society is becoming more savvy to ecological justice. It is time to abandon the presumptuous notion of managing for “sustainable” populations and start thinking about resilient ecosystems in which every individual animal plays an important role and cannot be treated as “surplus”.
At least 30% of grizzlies killed are female, reducing populations that already have among the slowest reproductive rates of all North American land mammals. Females who are killed with young cubs, leave tiny cubs to perish.
ADDITIONAL REFERENCE MATERIALS
1. Legal toolkit: Facilitating public participation in grizzly bear hunt management in British Columbia (http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/toolkit_grizzlybearhuntmanagement_updateNov2016.pdf)
2. In Defence of a Fallen King: A critique of the BC grizzly scientific review by Bryce Casavant
NDP announcement to ban the grizzly trophy hunt
1. NDP Pledge to End B.C.’s Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt if Elected (https://www.desmog.ca/2016/11/24/ndp-pledge-end-b-c-s-grizzly-bear-trophy-hunt-if-elected)
2. BC NDP pledge to end grizzly bear trophy hunting (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/bc-ndp-to-end-grizzly-bear-hunt-1.3866223
Letters to the editor
2. Support an end to grizzly hunt ( http://www.pqbnews.com/opinion/letters/404054496.html?mobile=true)
3. Trophy hunting of grizzlies is barbaric (http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/letters/trophy-hunting-of-grizzlies-is-barbaric-1.3648021)
4. All parties should vow to ban grizzly hunting (http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/letters/all-parties-should-vow-to-ban-grizzly-hunting-1.3447251)
1. Economic importance of keeping grizzlies alive; https://vimeo.com/192896400
2. Is B.C.’s trophy hunt for grizzly bears bad business? ( http://news.nationalpost.com/news/canada/is-b-c-s-trophy-hunt-for-grizzly-bears-bad-business)
3. Economic Impact of Bear Viewing and Bear Hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest of British Columbia (http://www.responsibletravel.org/projects/documents/Economic_Impact_of_Bear_Viewing_and_Bear_Hunting_in_GBR_of_BC.pdf)
4. 90% of B.C. Hates the Grizzly Hunt, So Why Are We Still Doing It? April 2014. https://www.desmog.ca/2014/04/15/90-b-c-hates-grizzly-hunt-so-why-are-we-still-doing-it
1. Confronting Uncertainty in Wildlife Management: Performance of Grizzly Bear Management (http://www.web.uvic.ca/~darimont/wp-content/uploads/2013/11/Artelle-et-al-2013-BC-grizz-hunt.pdf)
2. An inadequate construct? North American model: What’s flawed, what’s missing, what’s needed( http://www.isleroyalewolf.org/sites/default/files/Nelson%20et%20al%202011-An%20Inadequate%20Construct.pdf)
3. In the Matter of Hunting Grizzly Bears: The Science and the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia. Dr. Melanie Clapham. 2016. Full text at: (https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com/how-to-help/)
1. David Suzuki and Faisal Moola: Hunting animals for sport is ‘unethical and immoral’(http://theprovince.com/opinion/david-suzuki-and-faisal-moola-hunting-animals-for-sport-is-unethical-and-immoral)
2. Life is looking back at us: when debating the grizzly trophy hunt, ethics cannot be dismissed https://medium.com/@gbryja/life-is-looking-back-at-us-when-debating-the-grizzly-trophy-hunt-ethics-cannot-be-dismissed-6101d5ff9602#.6adf676ct)
3. Navigating the Anthropocene: embracing compassion and empathy for the grizzly bears in the age of uncertainty and unpredictability (https://medium.com/@gbryja/navigating-the-anthropocene-embracing-compassion-and-empathy-for-the-grizzly-bears-in-the-age-of-800e61b691c2#.bagq10u5d)
4. Compassionate Conservation: More than “Welfarism” Gone Wild, Beckoff, 2015. ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/marc-bekoff/compassionate-conservatio_1_b_6639964.html)
5. Right Manners, More lessons from Grizzly Bears. Bradshaw, 2013.(https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/bear-in-mind/201310/right-manners).
Insights West polls
1. Grizzly Trophy Hunt Could Swing Voters in British Columbia. Nov.2016 (http://www.insightswest.com/news/grizzly-trophy-hunt-could-swing-voters-in-british-columbia/#.WEN8uz3ZiW4.twitter)
2.British Columbians and Albertans Condemn Trophy Hunting. Oct.2015. http://www.insightswest.com/news/british-columbians-and-albertans-condemn-trophy-hunting/
Photo credits, with thanks to:
Trish Boyum oceanadventures.bc.ca
Jim Lawrence kootenayreflections.com
John E. Marriott wildernessprints.com
Steve Williamson stevewphotography.ca