STOP THE COMMERCIAL HUCKLEBERRY HARVEST! Sign Petition

Commercial harvesting of wild huckleberries is happening on a scale we’ve never before seen in the Kootenays. A thousand pounds per day are crossing the US border at Kingsgate.

Thirty-odd commercial pickers are camped out at Yahk, working with special harvesting rakes, and intend to keep the harvest going until frost—and they aren’t the only crew harvesting berries.

Will the threatened Yahk area grizzly bear population struggle to find the 30-60 pounds of berries they need every day to fatten up for the long winter? Will people picking for their own use be out of luck? Currently in BC, there are no regulations on commercial picking of huckleberries. It’s a free for all.

Please join us to call on BC Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Minister Doug Donaldson to ban the commercial harvest now!

Go to Petition to Send Letter to Minister Donaldson http://wildsight.ca/blog/2017/08/17/commercialhuckleberries/

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culledberries

Mega-buckets-to-be-filled

Wildlife-management reform in British Columbia is long overdue

https://www.raincoast.org/2017/08/wildlife-management-reform-in-british-columbia-is-long-overdue/

Wildlife policies are focused on consumption and control, rather than conservation.

Published on 2017 · 08 · 14 by Chris Genovali & Paul C. Paquet
A grizzly bear on BC Coast stops to face an eagle.
A grizzly bear and an eagle share a stretch of land. Photo by A.S. Wright.

bc-coastal-grizzly-bear-eagle-a.s.wright23

The underpinnings of contemporary wildlife management are political and ideological, largely at the expense of wildlife for the presumed benefit of people.

Unsurprisingly, wildlife management in British Columbia is marked by an outdated mindset that primarily views wild animals as a “resource” to be exploited by recreational hunting or as troublesome creatures that need to be killed because their existence conflicts with human endeavours. Saddled by a myopic adherence to the debunked and inaptly named North American model of wildlife conservation, wildlife policy in B.C. is mired in a philosophically and structurally faulty approach.

Simply, wildlife policies are focused on consumption and control, rather than conservation.

As ethicist Michael Nelson and wildlife ecologists John Vucetich, Paul C. Paquet and Joseph Bump note in their critique, North American Model: What’s Flawed, What’s Missing, What’s Needed, the model’s primary tenet, i.e. recreational hunting being central to wildlife conservation, is based upon an inadequate account of history and an inadequate ethic.

Largely ignoring the biology and intrinsic value of all species, the model reinforces the narrow idea that nature is a commodity — a “resource” — owned and used by humans in pursuit of personal interests. This “management” perspective draws its support from — and sustains — the view that humans exist outside of nature, and that other species, apart from their utility for humans, are of little importance in the larger scheme of things. Human dominion and domination over nature are deemed to be the natural order.

Predominantly driven by a recreational hunting agenda, the North American model is informed largely by values, attitudes and atavistic beliefs entrenched in the self-serving fallacy that killing wild animals for sport and control is essential to wildlife conservation.

Wildlife policies are focused on consumption and control, rather than conservation. Tweet This!
As explained in the critique, the model relies on a misinterpretation of history in which recreational hunting is disproportionately, and inaccurately, seen as the driver of North American wildlife conservation, while downplaying the contributions of monumental figures such as John Muir and Aldo Leopold, who pioneered broad-based approaches to conservation without focusing on hunting as its primary tool.

The province’s recent proposal to privatize wildlife management illustrates the pernicious effect of the North American model on the mindset of government bureaucrats and politicians. In the run-up to the election, the B.C. Liberals announced plans to implement an extra-governmental agency that would be controlled by recreational hunting groups.

This perverse scheme is the culmination of decades of undue influence by the recreational hunting lobby on the B.C. government; it was also inevitable under the model, where science and ethics are ignored in favour of self-perpetuating myth and anecdote.

With its philosophical roots in the model, the grizzly-bear hunt is an egregious and persistent example of how B.C. wildlife management fails to address ecological, economic and ethical considerations. Using the province’s kill data to determine if B.C.’s grizzly management meets its own objectives, Raincoast Conservation Foundation scientists have found that total kills commonly exceed limits determined by provincial policy. Financial analyses have shown that grizzlies are worth far more alive than dead, and poll after poll indicates a clear majority of British Columbians have judged the recreational hunting of these large carnivores an abhorrent activity.

Wildlife policies in BC flow from an outdated paradigm of dominion and domination. Tweet This!
Considering centuries of human privilege over the needs of the environment, what we need to manage is not wildlife but ourselves. Recognizing that many human activities have damaging effects on biodiversity and ecological communities, what should wildlife management in B.C. look like?

Briefly, Raincoast envisions a compassionate conservation policy based on management for wildlife, as opposed to management of wildlife — a policy that takes into account the health and well-being of individuals and populations. Furthermore, we envision substantially more consideration given to maintaining the integrity of ecological systems upon which species depend.

Although species might continue to exist and suffer long after natural ecological relationships have been altered or destroyed, such impoverished conditions are not sustainable and do not typify healthy environments. Finally, wildlife management needs to emerge from the shadows and adopt practices in keeping with modern science, as well as principles regarding the ethical treatment of animals.

Without a significant shift in how we relate to and interact with wildlife, future generations will look back with stunned dismay at how our society could be so divorced from reality and morality. The hopeful news in B.C. is that with a new government there is the opportunity for positive change and a much more ecologically and ethically informed approach to wildlife management.

Chris Genovali is executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Large-carnivore expert Paul C. Paquet is Raincoast’s senior scientist.

This article was first published on August 11, 2017 at the Times Colonist.

International trophy hunting organization accused of influencing vancouver sun poll on grizzly hunt

Link: https://www.facebook.com/StoptheGrizzlyKilling/

Not satisfied with killing animals around the globe, they’re trying to pressure BC to allow more Grizzlies to be senselessly slaughtered. American trophy killers trying to influence policy in our province. Enough is enough!
Read this article to learn more, and please share this far and wide.
We need people like you to protect BC’s Grizzlies. Please email the following newly elected representatives and let them know that BC residents STRONGLY disagree with Grizzly killing in any part of our province. Packing the meat out is an unacceptable loophole that will be easily exploited, and wealthy trophy killers will continue to slaughter our majestic Grizzly bears for kicks. Despicable!
Adam Olsen – Adam.olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca
Minister Doug Donaldson – FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca
Minister George Heyman – ENV.minister@gov.bc.ca
Premier John Horgan – Premier@gov.bc.ca
Andrew Weaver – Andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca
Sonia Furstenau (Green MLA) – Sonia.furstenau.MLA@leg.bc

Clayton Stoner

Aug 16, 2017 Vancouver Sun Article by Larry Pynn http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/international-trophy-hunting-organization-accused-of-influencing-vancouver-sun-poll-on-grizzly-hunt

An international trophy-hunting organization is being criticized for trying to influence a Vancouver Sun online poll on the NDP government ban on the grizzly trophy hunt.
The 50,000-member, U.S.-based Safari Club International (SCI) has posted a tweet designed to rally its supporters, saying: “Your help is needed to support grizzly hunting! Click on this link and vote ‘NO’ at the end of the article!”

SccreenShotSCIAug'17 Screen Shot taken on Twitter by Bears Matter
The Sun’s poll asks: “Are you happy with the B.C. NDP’s plan to ban the grizzly trophy hunt?” It then asks readers to choose between one of two statements: “Yes — Killing bears for sport is senseless;” or “No — A lot of people depend on the hunt to make a living.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the two positions were running pretty much neck-and-neck, whereas professionally conducted public opinion polls on the issue have shown overwhelming support for ending the hunt.
SCI also issued two news releases this week, arguing that “sustainable management of wildlife in British Columbia was sucker-punched” and accusing the government of “bowing to the bluster of anti-hunters” and ignoring “all sound science that supports a continuation of grizzly bear hunting in that province.”

On Monday, the NDP government made good on a high-profile election promise by announcing a B.C.-wide ban on trophy hunting of grizzly bears, while allowing hunting to continue for meat outside the Great Bear Rainforest.
Trish Boyum, a coastal ecotourism operator and strong advocate of ending the grizzly trophy hunt, urged SCI to butt out of B.C.’s affairs. “We in no way agree with Safari Club being involved in any decision making regarding wildlife in British Columbia,” she said. “This is what happens when we allow these kinds of people to have their way in our province.”

B.C. grizzly hunter calls new provincial ban wasteful, hurtful to local economies
Boyum noted that she is associated with the Facebook page, Stop the Grizzly Killing, boasting 46,000 followers. She isn’t urging them to respond to The Sun’s poll, which she considers poorly worded and unscientific.

 

Stop the Grizzly Killing Facebook BC- Grizzly Hunt starts Aug.15,2017

STGK PostAug15'17                                                              BC to ban the “Trophy Grizzly Bear Really?
No, Grizzly killing season starts today, August 15, 2017                                                Today the government sanctioned grizzly hunt resumes. Bears will still be killed for bragging rights and trophy photos. This abhorrent behavior will soon be justified by re-branding Grizzlies as food, a ridiculous loophole. Shame on you British Columbia. This is just lipstick on a pig.

Please Like and Share this page: https://www.facebook.com/StoptheGrizzlyKilling

B.C.’s Trophy Hunt Ban a Good Step but Loophole Puts Bears at Risk

August 15, 2017
VANCOUVER — B.C.’s cancellation of the grizzly bear trophy hunt is a good step but a loophole that allows hunting the bears for meat is cause for concern, according to the David Suzuki Foundation. The province-wide ban goes into effect on November 30, following this year’s hunting season. It will not prohibit hunters from killing grizzly bears for meat outside of the Great Bear Rainforest.

“We really hoped provisions to ban the hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest would apply to the whole province,” said David Suzuki Foundation Ontario and Northern Canada director Faisal Moola. “The government’s decision means hundreds of grizzly bears will be spared, and that is welcome news. Their pelts, paws, heads and other body parts will no longer be displayed by foreign or local hunters as trophies.”
Bear experts have long known that keeping grizzly populations healthy means protecting their habitat and ensuring humans do not needlessly kill them.

“Although this decision will help reduce the numbers of grizzly bears killed by humans, the provision allowing them to be killed for meat means bears will still be killed,” Moola said. “Grizzly bears are a federally ranked species at risk and it is unclear how a grizzly bear food hunt could be regulated and enforced to ensure hunters do not needlessly shoot bears.”

The David Suzuki Foundation has campaigned for an end to killing of grizzly bears for close to 15 years. It has published numerous scientific studies on the controversial practice, mobilized thousands of B.C. residents in opposition to the trophy hunt and last year successfully convinced B.C.’s auditor general to open an investigation into trophy hunt management and other grizzly bear policies.

A century ago, 35,000 grizzly bears lived in British Columbia and flourished from Alaska to Mexico and east across the Prairies. Today, only about 15,000 grizzly bears inhabit B.C. and have been eliminated from the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan and around Fort St. John.

Grizzlies are highly sensitive to human impacts such as loss and fragmentation of their forest and mountain habitats by clearcuts, roads, oil and gas pipelines and other industrial infrastructure. Female bears reproduce later in life and often produce only a small number of cubs that survive into adulthood. Grizzlies travel long distances to find food, putting them at risk of coming into contact with hunters, roads, towns and other human encroachments into their habitat.
Unlike B.C.’s plan, the Alberta government has maintained a moratorium on all grizzly bear hunting since 2006. Grizzly bear hunting is also banned in the continental United States. B.C. grizzly populations remain healthy in many parts of the province, but independent analyses have found widespread overkilling of bears in some areas and at rates that exceed government limits.
- 30 —
Media contacts:
Faisal Moola, Director of Ontario and Northern Canada

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/media/news/2017/08/bcs-trophy-hunt-ban-a-good-step-but-loophole-puts-bears-at-risk/?utm_campaign=grizzlyTrophyHunt-mediaRelease-en-15aug2017&utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=page-link

Disserving the Public Trust, The Ethos of State Grizzly Bear Management

June 14, 2016  By David Mattson

Most people are familiar with the term worldview. In academe, scholars such as David Naugle (“Worldview”), Jim Sire (“Naming the Elephant”), and Mark Koltko-Rivera (“The Psychology of Worldviews”) have helpfully summarized the history of this pedigreed concept and its relevance to understanding the human condition. For me, worldview is central to understanding otherwise inexplicable human behaviors—including the verbiage that comes out of most peoples’ mouths.

What is a worldview? Intuitively, one could simply understand it as a “view of the world” that people carry around in their heads. But what does that mean? By all indications, worldview is the portal through which we make meaning of the overwhelming smoosh of sensory experience, which then dictates how we each orient to the world. Worldview is fundamentally semantical and semiotic in nature—configured and represented through internalized stories that we tell about the world and ourselves in it, saturated with emotion-laden icons and symbols. Worldview distills and integrates values, impulses, attractions, fears, and even terrors. Worldviews are typically illogical, incoherent, and resistant to change, largely because they are so intertwined with our identities and social networks. Worldviews are powerful stuff.

But worldviews are not some sort of concrete thing that we can unambiguously measure like we can, for example, the diameter of a tree. Nonetheless, because worldviews so powerfully configure what we say and do, it is actually quite easy to use any number of indices to build a reliable picture of this phenomenon for individuals or communities. Analysis of written texts is one approach. Analysis of repeatedly deployed symbols and images is another. And surveys that elicit peoples’ responses to carefully crafted questions are another yet. All of which is to say that social science does provide a box of tools that allows us to usefully describe worldviews.

Nature-views

Various scholars have gone even further to describe typologies by which we can categorize how people view the natural world and themselves in it—what I call “nature-views.” Academics such as Mike Manfredo and Tara Teel at Colorado State University came up with a relatively straight-forward system comprised of four categories or bins. Steve Kellert of Yale University came up with a more nuanced schematic comprised of between eight and nine categories (see his “Value of Life”). Whatever the typology, a major dimension consistently emerges along which most peoples’ nature-views can be arrayed. At one extreme is a view that nature—and animals therein—is/are to be dominated and used. At the other extreme is a view that emphasizes intimate, aesthetic, even anthropomorphic connections.

And, Again, Grizzly Bears

All of this is relevant to understanding what goes on with state-level management of our wildlife and, in turn, anticipating what will happen to Yellowstone’s grizzly bears if Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections are removed and the bears turned over to the tender mercies of state wildlife managers. And, likewise, relevant to understanding why these managers and the Commissioners who oversee them are frothing at the mouth to start trophy-hunting grizzlies once authority is surrendered to the states by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS)—the same people who are seemingly obsessed with power, control, and meting out death (see my essay on Divvying Up the Dead).

In my previous essay of this three-part series I emphasized governance problems in our current management of wildlife by the states, along with the extent to which this management is enslaved to a very narrow demographic (i.e., white guys) and an equally narrow set of special interests organized around hunting—which is to say, killing stuff. But here I emphasize the worldviews that inform the despotic and corrupt system I described.

And, just to be clear, none of what I say should be construed as an interest in doing away with hunting. That is not my intent or motivation. In fact, I’ve spent most of my professional career studying—and admiring—animals that kill stuff. But at the same time, I strongly believe that not all worldviews are equal, nor are the moral and ethical systems embedded in these worldviews equal. Some worldviews and the nature-views therein yield toxic results. Others do not. As simple as that, and to believe otherwise is to descend into a quagmire of relativism that is guaranteed to yield nasty outcomes for humanity.

Nature-views, Hunting, and Carnivores

So, what are the worldviews that motivate the dominant paradigm of wildlife management? A full description of these views would be overwhelming—and diverse they are—so instead I focus here on modalities, dominant themes if you will. The point being that those who are invested in and benefiting from status quo wildlife management adhere in varying degrees to a number of nature-views. But this does not negate the fact that some views are dominant, especially when it comes to driving how state wildlife agencies manage large carnivores including, potentially, our Yellowstone grizzly bears.

I’ll start with one particularly interesting research project that I supervised, undertaken by Liz Ruther, inquiring into peoples’ attitudes towards mountain lions, including their relevant behaviors. We asked a random sample of adults whether they would support various measures to protect or conserve mountain lions, including whether they would support a ban on killing juvenile lions, limit the killing of females, or support measures to conserve important lion habitat. On the behavior front, we asked whether they hunted, had killed a lion, or carried a firearm in the woods for protection—versus nothing at all or a non-lethal deterrent such as pepper spray. But of particular relevance here, we also asked people a number of questions designed to help us explain attitudes and behaviors. In particular, we asked questions that allowed us to score people on the basis of how strongly they adhered to a particular nature-view—among others, a belief in dominating and using nature.

To read more go to: https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/14/disserving-the-public-trust-the-ethos-of-state-grizzly-bear-management/