Monthly Archives: February 2014

Canadians can Join in Action this Saturday betw 2pm to 3pm! Tweet or Text the Rally! See How Here! Also sign Petition Here to Premier to STOP Killing of Grizzlies for a Trophy!

Important: Please View the petition  – Take 1 minute to sign! Thks

Use SayZu! Saturday’s Action Alert to Cdn’s across BC and Canada:This Saturday betw 2pm – 3pm (Pacific Coastal Time) pls Text msg  to 39-39-39 and send your msg starting text with ‘myvote ‘+ your msg + send!  Or you can Tweet  to #NOTROPHYHUNT w your msg! NO extra charges apply! 

VIEW TEXTs or Tweets ‘Msg Cloud’ on Bears Matter’s No Trophy Hunt Page

TELL Premier Clark WHY the Trophy Killing has to be STOPPED not EXPANDED THIS SPRING! Thank you because BC Bears Matter!

 Please View the petition  – Take 1 minute to sign and send auto letter to Premier Christy Clark asking her to stop pandering to American and out of country trophy hunters who come here to kill our grizzlies for their heads and paws! Real hunters don’t kill what they don’t eat!

One Day before Massive Rally in Victoria to Save BC Bears! Share Pls!    Bears Matter  by Bears Matter

  • Note From Rally Organizer: On February 15th hundreds are expected to gather at the B.C. Parliament Buildings at 2 PM for an event called “Save B.C. Bears”, a protest against bear trophy killing and ALSO SayZu makes it possible for any Canadian to show up to the Rally..Pls Tweet/Text, see instruction above on the day betw 2 - 3pm (PST). Speakers at the event include MLA Andrew Weaver, and nationally celebrated poetry ‘power couple’ Lorna Crozier and Patrick Lane. There will also be a live musical performance by Holly Arntzen and Kevin Wright of ‘the Wilds’.

    The aim of the event is to tell BC’s elected representatives that the trophy hunting of BC’s grizzly bears and black bears must stop, and that grizzly hunting in the Cariboo and Kootenays must not be re-opened this spring.

    Join us on Feb. 15th at the BC Parliament Buildings in Victoria and please help us spread the word as widely as possible!

    More information is available at: www.facebook.com/SaveBCBears or www.bearsmatter.com

‘NEW’ SHORT 3min DOCUMENTARY by Nancy Wagner: Kootenay Grizzlies
https://vimeo.com/85990109 or  https://www.facebook.com/nancywagnerphotography 

You can also view this powerful and inspiring 22min Film called ‘ Bear Witness’ at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDg24d8fF1Q ! Take the Pledge to Stop the Trophy Hunt of Bears on BC’s coast.

See Article http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/chris-genovali/bc-grizzly-hunt_b_4667252.html?utm_hp_ref=tw ‘B.C. Grizzly Hunt Bolstered By Spurious Science’ Feb 12’14

The level of senseless killing and waste in the Trophy Kill of grizzlies is absolute! They are killed for their heads, paws and/or fur. We must finally declare this Legal Killing ‘illegal’  and better protect BC’s grizzly bears, and newborn cubs, now and in future.

We fought for the  whales, now we must fight for the grizzlies!
Thank you,

Barb Murray,                                                                                        Bears Matter

 Below is the Petition Letter 

On January 20, 2014, the following letter below was sent to Premier Christy Clark and all the Member’s of the Legislative Assembly in BC and now is available for you to sign and send through Change.org or you can download a Word Document version to edit and send in yourself.  Please do so and also share with family and friends to help the grizzlies in B.C. be left alone to live wild!

Thank you. Barb M.

Dear Premier Clark:

Re: Protect grizzly bears by banning the trophy hunt

As British Columbians, we live in a democracy where the government is duty-bound to heed the voices of the majority and not pander to a small, vocal segment of the hunting community. As you are aware, opinion polls have consistently shown that the overwhelming majority of British Columbians oppose the trophy hunt of grizzly bears. We urge your government to issue a province-wide ban on the trophy hunt of grizzly bears by fall 2014.

Prior to the province-wide ban coming into effect, we respectfully request that your government immediately withdraw the four proposals to re-open the trophy hunt of grizzly bears in the Cariboo and in the Kootenays. Government biologists recommended the closure of these regions because of over-hunting in 2001 and 2011 respectively.  Another example of our province’s democracy deficit was the public consultation process for these proposed re-openings given the lack of transparency and the very short timeframe to provide comments.

The senseless killing of grizzly bears is morally indefensible and has no place in modern wildlife management practices and policies. Killing these magnificent creatures for “sport” and bragging rights does not in any way contribute to the conservation of the species or increased safety for humans contrary to claims made by special interest groups. Nor is it acceptable to British Columbian taxpayers that our money is being wasted on managing this costly and controversial hunt.

We urge your government to fully support eco-tourism and bear-viewing, which not only benefit the bears but also local economies. The Coastal First Nations recently announced a ban on bear trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest so that they can fully embrace eco-tourism as a vital part of their sustainable future. We wholeheartedly support this important initiative and ask that your government follow their lead.

Lastly, we would like to engage in a dialogue with your government about how we can best protect and celebrate our iconic grizzly bears and their habitat so that future generations will be able to experience the beauty and majesty of these creatures.

One way to celebrate our grizzly bears could be, for example, through the creation of a province-wide Grizzly Bear Sanctuary.

We, the undersigned, look forward to your response to our requests for action and meaningful dialogue on these important and time-sensitive issues.

Sincerely,

Bears Matter
British Columbia, Canada

B.C. Grizzly Hunt Bolstered By Spurious Science by Chris Genovali

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/chris-genovali/bc-grizzly-hunt_b_4667252.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Scientists from the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Simon Fraser University, and University of Victoria recently authored the first peer-reviewed study of British Columbia’s controversial grizzly bear management. Conclusions from the article, titled “Confronting Uncertainty in Wildlife Management: Performance of Grizzly Bear Management” and published online in the international journal PLOS ONE, cast serious doubt regarding the B.C. government’s persistent claim that “sound science” is used to manage the trophy hunt.

Using the province’s kill data to determine if B.C.’s grizzly management meets its own objectives (maintaining all human-caused kills below pre-determined limits), the scientists found that in the past decade total kills commonly exceeded limits determined by provincial policy. These “overkills” occurred at least once in half the populations open to hunting between 2001-2011. Troublingly, these overkills were particularly common for adult females, the reproductive powerhouses of the species.

Notably, Raincoast and our lawyers at Ecojustice engaged in a five-year legal battle to gain access to provincial kill data. That the B.C. government had to be compelled by the courts to grant us access is telling.

According to Raincoast biologist, SFU PhD student, and lead author Kyle Artelle, “Overkills are a serious concern because the biology of grizzly bears makes them highly vulnerable to excessive mortality. They have great difficulty recovering from population declines.”

The team of wildlife and fisheries scientists also assessed how uncertainty in management affects the likelihood of accurately detecting overkills. Given the many unknowns in management (such as the actual number of bears in hunted populations) overkills might have occurred in 70% of the cases, and gone undetected 75% of the time.

Dr. Paul Paquet, senior scientist at Raincoast and co-author, states, “We analyzed only some of the uncertainty associated with grizzly management and found it might be contributing to widespread overkills. I’m not sure how the government defines sound science, but an approach that carelessly leads to widespread overkills is less than scientifically credible.”

Dr. Chris Darimont, UVic professor and Raincoast science director, notes, “Ignoring uncertainty — in dimensions such as true population size — is like playing Russian roulette. As the history of wildlife management has shown repeatedly, the consequences of not accounting for the unknowns are grave.”

Reasonable people might expect that the findings of the PLOS ONE paper would give the province cause to rethink their obviously flawed management of the grizzly hunt. Instead, the bureaucrats responsible for overseeing the trophy hunting of B.C.’s grizzlies reacted with what appears to be a pushback against the exposure of their unsound policies in a prominent scientific journal.

As such, they decided to double down on their pseudo-science and expand the grizzly hunt in 2014 by re-opening two management units in the Cariboo and Kootenay regions that had been closed because of hunting overkill. In fact, the Kootenay has been identified in the PLOS ONE paper as one of the regions that has most consistently experienced overkills.

In defending their decision to expand the hunt, the province proclaimed, “anecdotal information from various stakeholders suggests that the grizzly bear population has increased.” The “stakeholders” they refer to are, of course, first and foremost trophy hunters, who happen to be the B.C. government’s preferred constituency when it comes to wildlife management. And so, the pretense of the province’s so-called sound science is exposed by the admission of their inclusion of anecdotal evidence as justification for expanding the recreational killing of grizzly bears.

Provincial bureaucrats and career civil servants have served as the shameless enablers of an indefensible activity, causing an untold amount of pain and suffering amongst large carnivores in B.C. Ironically, while poll after poll shows an overwhelming majority of British Columbians are opposed to the grizzly hunt, these unaccountable taxpayer-funded bureaucrats and civil servants justify their existence by facilitating the recreational killing of grizzlies, and devising an elaborate ever-changing rationalization for the sport hunting of bears.

Although ongoing attempts are made to dress up the province’s motivations in the trappings of their proverbial sound science, they are clearly driven by an anachronistic ideology that is disconcertingly fixated on killing as a legitimate and necessary tool of wildlife management.

Government policy makers and their bureaucratic minions who manage the grizzly hunt are not interested in rigorous science, but are keenly interested in maintaining the status quo for reasons having to do with power and control. Scientific management, by definition, requires considering and incorporating any and all new evidence as it arises. The province’s contempt for the PLOS ONE paper as shown by their willful disregard of the best available peer reviewed science is inexcusable.

B.C. government biologists subsequently published an article in PLOS ONE, which provided new estimates of grizzly populations throughout the province. The provincial press release publicizing the paper made the spurious claim that the “study re-affirms that B.C. grizzlies are being sustainably managed.” The study, however, was neither designed to test this nor carried out in a way that provided additional insight into the sustainability of provincial bear management.

Moreover, their publication neither affirmed nor contradicted our work, but further demonstrated that considerable uncertainty remains in estimating how many bears actually occur in a given management area. This uncertainty about the number of bears, combined with questionable but indispensable information concerning reproductive rates and unreported mortalities, clearly demands that provincial managers responsible for the hunt should err on the side of caution, rather than carelessly assuming all is well when it is not.

A version of this article previously appeared in the Invermere Valley Echo.
Follow Chris Genovali on Twitter: www.twitter.com/raincoast