B.C. Residents Please Take the Pledge to Help End the Grizzly Hunt Justice for BC Grizzlies

AmberGrizzlySpring'16

Go to website to sign the Pledge Letter:  https://www.change.org/p/b-c-residents-please-pledge-to-help-end-the-grizzly-hunt-may-9-17-election

From the Change.org Petition – Pledge Letter site:

The Pledge Letter found below will be received by Justice for BC Grizzlies, a grassroots group of concerned citizens. We are asking BC residents to sign our Pledge to keep the grizzly hunt high on the political radar leading up to the May 9/17 provincial election. By connecting with friends, family, members of your community and political candidates, we will be able to spread the word throughout the province that this brutal, unjust killing of grizzlies must end!

When you sign this pledge letter be assured your email information will not be shared publicly and will be held in confidence. We will send regular updates to those that wish them and also be periodically sharing our growing list of pledgers (voters) and their towns (ridings) with political candidates and the media.

Thank you!

If you wish to join our Team at Justice for BC Grizzlies please go to: https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com/contact/ and you will be contacted by a volunteer.

Cheers,

Barb and Val

Justice for BC Grizzlies

This petition will be delivered to:Founder of Justice for BC Grizzlies
Val Murray
Director of Justice for BC Grizzlies
Barbara Murray

 

Read the letter

Globe and Mail Opinion: After the Spear Outrage We Must Fight to Protect Canada’s Iconic Bears

Getty Images/istock

Getty Images/istock

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/after-the-spear-outrage-we-must-fight-to-protect-canadas-iconic-bears/article31447415/   August 17, 2016

Julius Strauss is a B.C.-based bear viewing guide and member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association

The killing of a black bear by a U.S. hunter with a spear this week in Alberta has caused public outrage.

What has shocked is not so much the cruelty involved – the bear survived its initial injuries and ran off into the forest only to die later – but that the bear had been baited, and the act was legal.

The hunter, Josh Bowmar from Ohio, went on to celebrate the feat by posting a video of the killing on YouTube replete with footage from a GoPro he had attached to the spear.

Another hunter said Mr. Bowmar had “cojones” for being willing to approach the bear on foot, as it rummaged around a baited barrel that had been put out specifically for the purpose.

For a small minority, such a feat is something to crow about on social media.

Whether it is the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia or the spear-hunting of a baited black bear in Alberta, there are sites on the internet that pore over the details of the kill, boasting of the endeavour.

Increasingly, however, there is a chasm between this small minority and the rest of Canadians who see such practices as outdated and morally repugnant.

Alberta banned the grizzly hunt more than a decade ago after the number of bears in the province fell to dangerously low numbers. But it still sanctions hunting black bears with bait.

In neighbouring British Columbia, trophy hunters still shoot between 250 and 300 grizzly bears a year. In B.C. the arguments against grizzly hunting have become increasingly persuasive in recent years.

Bear-viewing, a growing industry in which tourists pay to visit specialized lodges where they can safely watch wild bears, is now worth more than ten times to the province what grizzly hunting is.

A recent poll found overwhelming opposition: around 90 per cent of British Columbians have said they want to see grizzly hunting banned.

The government has so far stuck to its guns, so to speak. It maintains that the hunt is scientifically sustainable.

But even that argument took a blow recently when official figures showed that a hunted population in the Southern Rockies had dropped by 40 per cent in less than decade under government management.

As provincial elections near in British Columbia – they are due next spring – both the NDP and the Liberals have been jockeying for position with the electorate.

The arguments over whether grizzly hunting in B.C. should be allowed to continue, and whether black bears in Alberta should be baited and killed with spears, are raging in small circles.

Environmentalists are understandably furious with present policies and some warn that without change certain bears populations will disappear forever.

Trophy hunters fear that any erosion of their rights to shoot bears will lead to a wholesale onslaught by the government on their rural lifestyles.

Wildlife managers, meanwhile, spend days in endless meetings debating minute changes to hunting zones, seasons and what they term allowable harvest.

Meanwhile, out in the real world, attitudes have changed.

Many Canadians were incensed last year when a U.S. dentist shot Cecil, a prized African lion, who was lured out of a protected area and killed for its pelt.

They are ready to accept culling in areas where animals overpopulate, but bears never do that because their biology means that they have fewer cubs in times of poor food availability. Most would certainly condone killing an animal in self-defense.

Alberta has now promised to ban spear hunting – but that’s not enough. The concept of killing a bear – an animal that is so iconic – just so its skin can adorn a sofa is something the majority now finds unacceptable.

It’s time that Canada did better by its bears.

Bears Matter Note:  NEW: BC Concerned Citizen’s called Justice for BC Grizzlies,  www.justiceforbcgrizzlies.com  email: justiceforbcgrizzlies@telus.net  Facebook @justiceforbcgrizzlies Twitter @justice4bcgrizz

 

BC Almanac Podcast with Justice for BC Grizzlies and Others on August 17, 2016

Copy of val - Copy                JusticeforBCGrizzliesLogo

Val Murray  of Justice for BC Grizzlies      Logo for Justice for BC Grizzlies

Listen to podcast at 17:20mark to hear arguments from all sides re: grizzly hunt in BC  – Introducing the new concerned citizen’s group Justice for BC Grizzlies

podcast.cbc.cahttp://podcast.cbc.ca/mp3/podcasts/bcalmanac_20160817_31168.mp3

Go to: www.justiceforbcgrizzlies.com. Facebook: @justiceforbcgrizzlies  Twitter @justice4bcgrizz email: justiceforbcgrizzlies@telus.net

 

 

 

Grizzly Group Takes Aim at Trophy Hunting, Sets Sights on Provincial Election Candidates

Jacequeline as AmbassadorJustice for BC Grizzlies supplied photo

By Judith Lavoie • Monday, August 15, 2016 – 11:15

http://www.desmog.ca/2016/08/15/grizzly-group-takes-aim-trophy-hunting-sets-sights-provincial-election-candidates

Above the stone fireplace in the comfortable Saanich home, photos of grizzly bears are pinned in a casual collage.

Cubs are shown frolicking in the grass, a curious bear stands on his hind legs looking through a camera lens and, jarringly, at the top, is a massive grizzly lying lifeless in the grass, eyes closed, claws digging into the dirt, as two jubilant hunters smile into the camera.

The photo, typical of those found in hunting magazines that promote the chance to travel to Super, Natural B.C. to kill grizzles, provokes a visceral response among hunt opponents and a newly-formed group wants to harness that gut reaction.

Justice for B.C. Grizzlies is led by a small core of volunteers who, for years, have tried to end the trophy hunt by arguing the facts — such as the uncertainty of population numbers, studies that show bear viewing generates far more in visitor spending than bear hunting and — what should be the clincher for politicians, but, curiously seems to be ignored — polls clearly demonstrate that British Columbians are overwhelmingly against the hunt.

In the leadup to next spring’s provincial election, the group is aiming for hearts and minds by asking B.C. voters and political candidates to consider the hunt from a moral and ethical stance.

“We are the moral high ground. We are not the scientists,” said Barb Murray, who has fought against the hunt for more than a decade.

“We can speak with our hearts…We all have a heart and a brain and we know wrong from right. Tweet: ‘We just have to stand up & be counted and make our politicians be accountable to the majority’ http://bit.ly/2bkTYEX #bcpoli #trophyhuntWe just have to stand up and be counted and make our politicians be accountable to the majority on this ethical issue.”

The hunt is outdated and archaic, pointed out supporter Val Murray.

“It’s 2016, and stopping the hunt is morally and ethically right,” she said.

Justice for B.C Grizzlies will officially launch in September and members will then start the hard work of pinning down politicians and candidates and bending the ears of friends and neighbours.

Supporters will be asked to sign a pledge to actively lobby to end the hunt, and ask candidates in their riding where they stand.

The group will work alongside others fighting the same battle, such as Raincoast Conservation, the David Suzuki Foundation and Pacific Wild, but will take a different approach in hopes of attracting those who have not thought about the morality of killing an apex predator — listed as a species of special concern by the federal Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada — in order to put a head on a wall or rug on the floor.

In 2001, in the dying days of the NDP government, a moratorium was imposed on trophy hunting until more scientific data could be compiled, but, as soon as Gordon Campbell’s BC Liberals were elected, the moratorium was rescinded.

That decision has stuck, despite the growing distaste of British Columbians and a 2004 European Union ban on imports of all B.C. grizzly parts after an analysis found the hunt was unsustainable.

Polls show the number of people who oppose the hunt is steadily growing, with an October 2015 Insights West poll finding that 91 per cent of British Columbians and 84 per cent of Albertans say they oppose hunting animals for sport. The margin of error for B.C. is plus or minus 3.1 per cent.

Along the way, hunt opponents have gathered some high profile support, including Martyn Brown, former chief of staff to Gordon Campbell and former deputy minister of tourism, trade and investment.

Brown agrees that putting pressure on politicians and political candidates is the way to “make the B.C. government bow to the wishes of the 91 per cent of British Columbians who say they don’t support it.”

In a column published on DeSmog Canada, Brown wrote “In our hearts, most of us know that the grisly business of trophy hunting is not right. Rather, it demeans us as the planet’s apex species.”

So, why does the Christy Clark Liberal government insist on continuing the hunt?

The two main arguments are that the grizzly population is healthy, with an estimated 15,000 bears, and the hunt puts money into the economy.

But government estimates of population numbers are based on models and expert opinions, not a count of bears, and many researchers believe numbers are much lower — possibly in the 6,000 range — and kills much higher than the approximately 300 grizzlies killed by hunters each year that the province reports.

A study by Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria and the Hakai Institute, which analyzed 35 years of grizzly mortality data, found kill limits are regularly exceeded.

At least nine sub-populations of grizzlies in B.C are on the verge of disappearing and, in addition to the hunt, grizzlies face disappearing habitat, poachers, and vehicle collisions.

“The current hunt subjects grizzly populations to considerable risk. Substantial overkills have occurred repeatedly and might be worse than thought because of the many unknowns in management,” Raincoast biologist Kyle Artelle said after the study was published in the peer-reviewed journal PLOS ONE.

Following the Raincoast study the David Suzuki Foundation and the University of Victoria Environmental Law Centre requested an investigation by Auditor General Carol Bellringer, who agreed to look at whether the province is effectively managing the grizzly bear population.

Bellringer is expected to issue a report in the spring and hunt opponents are crossing their fingers it will be released before the election.

They are also hoping that the departure of Energy and Mines Minister Bill Bennett, who has said he will not run in the election, will help their cause.

Bennett, a key member of Clark’s cabinet, has been a strong supporter of the hunt.

On the financial front, a study by the Center for Responsible Travel, in conjunction with Stanford University, found that, in 2012, bear-viewing groups in the Great Bear Rainforest generated “more than 12 times more in visitor spending than bear hunting.”

Bear-watching also directed $7.3-million to government coffers compared to $660,500 from hunters and created 510 jobs a year compared to 11 jobs created by guide outfitters.

“The overwhelming conclusion is that bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest generates far more value to the economy, both in terms of total visitor expenditures and gross domestic product and provides greater employment opportunities and returns to government than does bear hunting,” says the study.

However the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. is a powerful lobby and a generous contributor to the Liberal Party.

Between 2011 and May 2015 the association contributed almost $37,000 to the Liberal Party and a little over $6,000 to the NDP.

Jefferson Bray, owner of the Great Bear Chalet, in the Bella Coola Valley, in a letter to Bellringer, wrote “This global obscenity continues because it is lobbied, bought and paid for.”

Although the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. is the voice of those arguing to keep the grizzly hunt, the bulk of softer support comes from hunters who belong to the B.C. Wildlife Federation, who are afraid the end of the grizzly hunt would be the thin end of the wedge, said Barb Murray.

But Justice for B.C Grizzlies has no problem with those who hunt for food and the group has hunters among its’ supporters, she emphasized.

“I am a hunter and I have never shot a bear,” said David Lawrie, a former forests engineer with the B.C. government and an inaugural member of Justice for B.C. Grizzlies.

“And, when it comes to the government being capable of providing us with the number of bears, I don’t believe it. They can’t even provide us with the number of trees in the annual allowable cut and trees don’t walk,” Lawrie said.

This summer, the Wildlife Federation supported a call by Green Party leader Andrew Weaver to require trophy hunters to pack out edible meat from grizzly bears, but the support was immediately dismissed by hunt opponents.

“If Weaver’s bill is somehow approved, most of the muscles of the bears will be transported out of the bush and dumped into landfills in B.C. and beyond, while their heads and hides will continue to be transformed into rugs for living rooms and prizes for trophy rooms, “ Raincoast executive director Chris Genovali and Raincoast guide outfitter coordinator Brian Falconer wrote in an op-ed in the Times Colonist.

Weaver’s bill died when the session ended and a Green Party spokesman said Thursday that, ideally, Weaver wants to see a complete ban on grizzly trophy hunting in B.C.

“As the government made it clear that is not on the cards, Andrew tabled the bill as an interim measure with the goal of making trophy hunting more costly and regulated, especially for out-of-province hunters,” Mat Wright said in an email.

The major hope for reversing the legislation lies with the NDP and, so far, the party has not decided where it is going with the contentious issue.

Environment critic George Heyman said in an interview that discussions have taken place in caucus and will continue once summer vacation is over.

“We will be letting people know our decision before the election,” said Heyman.

“We understand that over 90 per cent of British Columbians oppose it and we are taking it very seriously,” he said.

It is obvious many British Columbians do not trust the government’s numbers and conservation is the first principle for the NDP, Heyman said.

“We understand the importance of conserving this iconic species and we will make a responsible decision,” he said.

Which is exactly what Justice for B.C. Grizzlies wants to see.

 

Judith Lavoie’s blog

Charlie Russell: Discoverying the True Nature of the Grizzly Bear, YouTube Video March’16

 

Copy of Russell40Copy of Russell40Copy of Russell40Copy of Russell40CharlieRussell

Hello B.C. Bear Friends,Copy of Russell40

A gift to ALL! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLpyFH1Y-aA&feature=youtu.be

A 46 minute long video and so well worth the view. We must really LISTEN carefully to Charlie Russell’s words and step up ourselves to tell the true story about grizzlies.

We must NOW take Charlie Russell’s life’s message to our politicians, candidates and voters with as much conviction, commitment and passion as he has shown all these years. Now in his mid-seventies, Charlie is still fighting for the grizzlies and we must fight along side him. We have to finally bring peace to our grizzlies in British Columbia and end the killing.

Once we end the killing of grizzlies in our backyard we can help grizzlies in other jurisdictions.
Enjoy and Share,

Barb M
Val M
Justice for BC Grizzlies – Citizen’s Campaign’17 www.justiceforbcgrizzlies.com justiceforbcgrizzlies@telus.net
facebook: @justiceforbcgrizzlies
twitter: @justice4bcgrizz

Note: YouTube Video: Published on Mar 29, 2016 by Wilderness Wildlife and Human Interaction Cochrane Research Institute, Discovering the true nature of the Grizzly Bear

Meet Teresa Murphy, Latest Grizzly Ambassador for Justice for BC Grizzlies

2015 09 05_0729

It’s 1996 and my husband and I have been reading Paul St. Pierre’s The Chilcotin Holiday. We love the communities and countryside he describes, so we decide to take our summer holiday there. Driving from Vancouver to Williams Lake, heading west then south, we enter Ts’yl-os Provincial Park in the territory of the Xeni Gwet’in.

We arrive at dusk as the evening meal is being served to a group of European tourists. They describe, with great animation, riding horses through untouched forest to a viewing area near a salmon spawning ground. Using telescopes they had seen a grizzly bear in the far off distance. “Tears were flooding down my face and I knew not to move or make a sound,” said a woman from Germany who had travelled half-way across the world and spent many thousands of dollars to experience those few moments. The next day we ride gentle, well-cared for horses, through the stillness of a wilderness valley. The viewing area is miles downwind of where grizzlies have been seen fishing. In silence we wait. In less than an hour, through a telescope, we see a cocoa coloured grizzly wading. As I watch, I also feel tears streaming down my face and feel the longing in the others to make these moments last forever.

Back at the lodge, we talk about what we can do to end bear hunting, what we can do to preserve wilderness habitat, and what we can do to convince the premier that bears generate more economic benefit to communities through tourism than hunting. We each vow to do something.

Teresa Murphy, Richmond BC

Taken from https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com/about/grizzly-ambassadors/