Letter to Premier, April 01, 2016; Trophy Killing of Grizzlies Begins again in B.C. – An inhumane and barbaric killing for the fun of it!

 

BearsForever Photo taken in Great Bear Rainforest of Head of Five Year Old 'Cheeky', a eco-viewed juvenile grizzly

BearsForever Photo taken in Great Bear Rainforest

On Apr 1, 2016, at 11:45 AM,

From: Bears Matter
Sent: ‎Friday‎, ‎April‎ ‎01‎, ‎2016 ‎10‎:‎33‎ ‎AM
To: premier@gov.bc.ca

Dear Premier Clark,

Open Letter:

Today is the day that you and your government allow trophy hunters, both resident and non-resident, to stalk, wound, orphan and kill grizzlies and black bears just out of hibernation. Some of these bears will be male, at least 30% will be female and of those females some will be mother’s with tiny cubs who they will hide at the first whiff of trouble.

Premier Clark, you and your government are solely responsible for the killings, wounding and orphaning of our unsuspecting, innocent, majestic grizzlies found in their natural habitat. They will be eating sedge grasses, shell fish, shoots and roots etc. as they try and regain the 40% of their weight lost from their long winter’s sleep. Most of the trophy hunters won’t even bother with the fur this time of year but will just take the bear’s head and paws and of course take that all important selfie!

The ”Super Natural B.C.” I know and love has NO place for Trophy killing of sentient beings such as bears! This sport or hobby by a few is a travesty, an international embarrassment, a social injustice and of course it is just simply inhumane.

I will never understand why you and your government have continued to promote and expand trophy killing, especially of bears. Can you not feel compassion for these sentient beings? They raise young and feel what we feel…they feel fear, pain, stress and of course joy! Let bears be bears in their natural habitat and continue to build a responsible and respectful ecotourism industry around them…but STOP Killing them for fun of it, for goodness sake!

Premier Clark, you and you alone can stop this senseless slaughter in our wild places with a swipe of your pen! Please do this before the August 15th opening when the killing spree is to start again and on an expanded basis. You and your government have an opportunity to institute a ‘Compassionate Conservation’ model across B.C. and make the whole province a Grizzly Bear Sanctuary – a gift to all British Columbians and to the world! How amazing would that be!? What a legacy to be remembered for forever and ever!

Please restore April 1st to the Day of Fools again in B.C. not the day we awake and dread the first day the fools begin their killing of our iconic grizzlies bears for the fun of it!

Sincerely yours,

Barbara Murray

Nanoose Bay, B.C.

cc Liberal MLA’s

 

 

BC Resident Letter Sent to @DestinationBC re: Ad Showcasing Grizzly Bear before Trophy Hunt Begins April 1st!

Disgraceful Photo and Practise of Killing Grizzlies for just their heads and photo op!

Bears Matter added: Poster fr BC Guide Outfitters materials in 2013!

Letter copied to Bears Matter and reproduced with permission:

Subject: Super, Natural British Columbia and trophy hunting
Date: March 25, 2016 at 11:14:55 AM PDT
To: shirley.bond.mla@leg.bc.ca
Cc: premier@gov.bc.ca

Dear Minister Bond,
I’ve lived and worked in British Columbia all my life and every day am grateful to have been born here. The recently launched Destination B.C. materials showcase our province’s people, the animals, the communities and pristine wild spaces and I think “yes, this is what my home looks like”.

But there is a glaring disconnect between what the material portrays of B.C. wildlife and the continued legal practice of trophy hunting in this province. It’s a serious schism. Killing wild animals for sport or trophy is a violent, disrespectful practice that certainly wouldn’t be included in tourism materials. This highlights a glaring misalignment of attitudes toward our wild species that needs to be remedied.

Trophy hunting does not hold social license with the majority of people who live in B.C. Opposition is gaining traction in the media and in public awareness. Convincing arguments against trophy killing run along economic, ecological, social and ethical lines. I assure you that opposition to trophy killing is not going to go away, but the government can get ahead of it and what better time than at the launch of a revamped showcase for Destination B.C. A bear that is shot can only be viewed once; a bear that is photographed can be viewed over many years, by many people. In every way, all of our wild species are worth far more alive than they are dead.

Someone in government must take action to end the needless suffering of animals who are good enough to advertise but not good enough to protect from trophy hunters’ guns. That person can be you, Ms. Bond.

On April 1st, the Spring hunt opens and trophy hunters will be scouring the woods hoping to “bag” the finest specimens of big game; animals who will suffer excruciating pain upon death, whose genes will be removed from the gene pool and whose loss will weaken the viability of the entire ecosystem of which they are part. All in the name of ego satisfaction for a few trophy hunters.

It is financially smart, ethically right and rationally consistent to ban merciless trophy killing of wildlife. They deserve to live free in their natural habitat, as they appear to do in BC tourism materials.

Sincerely,

VM
Victoria, BC

Cc:
Christy Clark
Bears Matter
Chek 6
Times Colonist

 

Dear Readers,

Bears Matter closes its fundraiser after 10 years and more than $70K raised for bears! The Bears Matter Fundraiser was hosted by the Country Club Centre in Nanaimo for the last six years. Of course Bears Matter will continue to support bears behind the scenes and help with various campaigns and fundraising goals of individual grassroots organizations.

A Gigantic “Thank you and Bear Hug” to all who supported this fundraiser, both on the North Shore and in Nanaimo! A Special Shout-out goes to Dave Mills and staff at Country Club Centre, my dear friend Christine Mc and of course to Bears Matter’s ‘Bear Angel’ Karen McKee and the Warm Buddy Company of North Vancouver- without these individuals and their respective companies this fundraiser would not have been possible.

Please EVERYONE continue to help bears at home and around the world by purchasing Warm Buddy Co., quality Warm-Up Bears and Bear Paw Mitts to support eight grassroots bear organizations. See more information at http:/www.warmbuddy.com

For Vancouver Island residents and visitors there is a selection of Warm Buddy products along with many many other wonderful gift ideas at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre in Errington, BC. Also carrying Warm Buddy products and other beautiful gifts to help bears is Critter Care Wildlife Centre in Langley, BC.  See Resources Section of this website for worthy grassroots bear organizations to support! Remember ALL Bears Matter!

With Gratitude,
Barb@bearsmatter

Feb 04’16, Thank You to ALL those that Supported this Fundraiser in 2015! We raised $4,500 for Bear Organizations helping Bears! 

Save A Bear Fundraiser’15, Country Club Centre, Nanaimo by Bears Matter

BEARS MATTER AD _REV (2)

 

Come Visit Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut at Country Club Centre: #29 - 3200 Island Highway, North, Nanaimo (Best Buy, Save-On-Foods) to check out all the Warm Buddy Gift Ideas and delight in the sight and tastes of deluxe, hand-made, preservative-free Chocolates! Warm Buddy Price List below….ALL Proceeds from the Sales of WB go to bear charities! Items Tax-Free! Visa,MC and Debit Accepted.

See Descriptions of products at www.warmbuddy.com .     Thank you, Barb of Bears Matter

Eight Grassroots Organizations Helped by 2015 Bears Matter Fundraiser:

1. Animals Asia, 2. Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Society, 3. Spectacled Bear Conservation Society-Peru, 4. SOS India, 5. North Island Wildlife Recovery Society, 6. Critter Care Wildlife Society, 7. Northern Lights Wildlife Society, 8 Pacific Wild (See Links to Organizations on Bears Matter Resource Page)

 

Pacific Wild on The Great Bear Rainforest Agreement: Unfiltered Feb 03’16

PWGrizzlyMomCub'14

http://pacificwild.org/news-and-resources/great-bear-blog/the-great-bear-rainforest-agreement-unfiltered

 Today, on behalf of Pacific Wild, and in the interest of setting our course for the miles still ahead, I offer the following reflections on the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest Agreement.

I have been asked for my opinion of the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement (GBRA) several times over the last 48 hours.

As I’m sure many people reflecting on this agreement in public and private can relate, synthesizing your thoughts for a media sound byte is challenging at the best of times – more so when you are attempting to address the complexity of a multi-stakeholder agreement many years in the making.

Before the announcement was formalized on Monday, the Heiltsuk Tribal Council released this very pragmatic statement, describing their view of the agreement. If there is one sound byte that trumps them all, I respectfully nominate this one: “We are grateful for a step down the right path. It is the first of many miles yet to walk.”

Looking forward

Today, on behalf of Pacific Wild, and in the interest of setting our course for the miles still ahead, I offer the following reflections on the agreement as it has been relayed to the public via the media and provincial government. In particular, I will address what I view as the most problematic assertions:

that 85% of the GBR is protected;

and the notion that trophy hunting is now banned in the GBR.

Before I do, I want to reiterate that over the last 25 years that I have been involved in conservation efforts in the Great Bear we have certainly come a long way. The relationships that have been built between parties that once were at odds with each other and the amount of spectacular wilderness areas that are now protected is truly an important achievement that should be celebrated.

That being said, there are a lot of layers to these agreements, and their implications are not nearly as clear as the headlines and the government’s talking points would have you believe. 

EBM should not be confused as a surrogate or replacement for protected areas. 

“85% of the forest will be protected”

This number is getting a lot of media attention and many people are asking where it comes from.  My understanding is that 38% of the region is now formally protected with clear boundaries and management guidelines attached to them. They all prohibit industrial logging but some allow for mining and other industries.   

As it has been explained to me, the remaining 62% of the GBR has been placed under EBM, an ambitious but nevertheless a new and unproven forest management practice. It should not be confused as a surrogate or replacement for protected areas because it will involve rotational forestry, road building, dry land sorts and a host of other human activities that are not compatible with the true definition and meaning of a protected area.  Obviously, the more stringent management guidelines that come with EBM are a step in the right direction and light years ahead of the business-as-usual deforestation practiced elsewhere in British Columbia, but it is not without limitations. We need look no further than the southern-most tip of the Great Bear Rainforest, where despite the EBM framework that has been in place for a number of years, Timber West continues to log the last remaining old growth enclaves.

The Great Bear Rainforest is a geographically complex coastline, dominated by rock, ice, bogs and steep terrain. The majority of the land base simply will never be logged because it either does not support forested landscape or is inaccessible from an operations standpoint.  It is the low elevation and ecologically productive forest that exists outside of protected areas, the areas that are disproportionately valuable to salmon, bears, wolves and many other old-growth dependent or associated species where EBM will be tested.  Only time will tell if this new approach to land use management will work, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves and describe it as a level of protection.

 Except for the statements made at the press conference, the government does not appear to have taken steps to actually end the hunt.

“The commercial grizzly hunt will cease” 

On Monday, Premier Christy Clark stated that the commercial hunt of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest is “over”.

In the wake of the announcement, everyone I spoke to was searching for some proof. Forty-eight hours later, to the best of my knowledge, none has materialized so, at the time of writing, I can only respond to the Premier’s statement. 

First, some background: In the Great Bear Rainforest, there are two ways that grizzly bears are killed for trophy.  Approximately 60% are killed by BC resident hunters (the “residential hunt”) and 40% are killed by non-residents on guided hunts (the “commercial hunt”).  The BC coast is made up of guide-outfitting territories owned exclusively by individuals or companies and in recent years a number of successful purchases have been made by First Nations and conservation groups in an attempt control and end the commercial trophy hunt in those areas.  

Now back to the agreement: Except for the statements made at the press conference, the government does not appear to have taken steps to actually end the hunt. The implication of the statements appears to be that the government will continue to not interfere with First Nations and other groups buying out commercial licenses.

So let’s be clear: until there is a documented policy change or financial support for groups or First Nations to buy out the remaining commercial licenses, the province has so far done nothing to stop the commercial hunt.

Other things to note:

The resident hunt is actually where the majority of grizzly bears are killed and, by all accounts, it will continue under this agreement.

Since 2003, Coastal First Nations have declared a ban on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest.

91% of British Columbians rural and urban oppose grizzly bear trophy hunting.

What should have happened yesterday – and what would have been consistent with public opinion, the position of coastal First Nations, basic economics, and the best available science – was for the Premier to announcing a ban on all grizzly bear trophy hunting in the Great Bear along with a clear strategy to extinguish the remaining guide territories.

As it is, trophy hunting – not just of grizzly bears but all large carnivores – is still allowed by provincial legislation in the Great Bear Rainforest, including in most of the newly established protected areas. First Nations are left to enforce the ban on trophy hunting with their own resources, in defiance of the province’s regulations.

As anyone who lives on the coast can tell you, it is short sighted to describe the Great Bear as “protected” until a system of marine protected areas are established.

This coast is more than timber and trophies

As we wrote in an email to Pacific Wild supporters this weekend, the productivity of the Great Bear Rainforest is fuelled by the richness of the ocean and while this agreement was never meant to address marine protection, it is short sighted to describe the Great Bear as “protected” until a system of marine protected areas are established.

Get involved. Sign up to receive news and action alerts from Pacific Wild as we continue to push for legislated protections that benefit the land, sea, and community of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Donate. Financially support the education and research that inspires people world-wide to help protect this coast. Donate today.

Updated Feb’16-Guilty Plea from Clayton Stoner, $10K Fine and 3 yr Hunting Ban & Province Newspaper: B.C. grizzly hunt trial for NHL’s Clayton Stoner Adjourned as Lawyers ask for More Time

Protesters against illegal poaching and hunting gather outside B.C. Provincial Court before Anaheim Ducks defenceman Clayton Stoner was expected to enter a plea in Vancovuer Friday Nov. 13, 2015. Stoner is charged with five counts under the Wildlife Act after a grizzly bear was killed on the central coast in 2013. Photograph by: Darryl Dyck, CP

Protesters against illegal poaching and hunting gather outside B.C. Provincial Court before Anaheim Ducks defenceman Clayton Stoner was expected to enter a plea in Vancovuer Friday Nov. 13, 2015. Stoner is charged with five counts under the Wildlife Act after a grizzly bear was killed on the central coast in 2013.
Photograph by: Darryl Dyck, CP

 

 

Update by Bears Forever Organization on the Outcome of the Clayton Stoner Case.  He was found guilty of holding a resident Limited Entry Hunt tag for a grizzly bear when he was not a resident of the province at that time …Mr. Stoner was fined $10,000 and banned from hunting in B.C. for three years. From facebook page of Bears Forever https://www.facebook.com/bearsforeverbc 

As everyone celebrates Clayton Stoner being sentenced today, here are some things to bear in mind:

1) Trophy hunting is not illegal under Settler law. Stoner has simply been found guilty of hunting with the wrong kind of license. We need to make this illegal under Settler law so the activity stops completely.

2) Stoner is also guilty of contravening the Indigenous ban on trophy hunting under Indigenous law, and the Settler courts have no jurisdiction over that.

3) No one would have caught Stoner in the first place if First Nations hadn’t been investing their money and energy in monitoring hunt activity. The Province has NO capacity to effectively regulate or monitor the hunt. That burden falls to us.

4) Justice for Cheeky, the bear shot by Stoner, is important. But what we’re fighting for with the Bears Forever campaign is justice for ALL bears. That won’t happen until the province regulates an end to the hunt. And we won’t stop our work until they do.

You can find out more about what we’re doing at bearsforever.ca

http://www.theprovince.com/technology/grizzly+hunt+trial+Clayton+Stoner+adjourned+lawyers+more+time/11515344/story.html

BY SUSAN LAZARUK, THE PROVINCE NOVEMBER 13, 2015

VANCOUVER — An NHL player accused of illegally shooting a grizzly bear was expected to enter a plea in provincial court in Vancouver on Friday, but the case was adjourned again to give his lawyer and the prosecutor time to negotiate details.

Clayton Stoner, who grew up in Port McNeill and now plays for the Anaheim Ducks, was charged with five offences under the Wildlife Act for a 2013 hunt in which he shot and killed a grizzly bear on B.C.’s central coast.

All five offences relate to Stoner applying for a resident hunting licence, including making a false statement to obtain a licence, hunting without a licence, hunting out of season and unlawful possession of the bear.

Stoner allegedly would need a non-resident’s permit, which costs at least $25,000, because he lives and works outside of B.C.

Crown prosecutor Jim Cryder and articling law student Justine Davidson, who was acting for Stoner’s lawyer, both requested more time and adjournment to a later court date.

Outside court, Cryder said the two sides are continuing negotiations on Stoner’s expected guilty plea.

The case is being followed by opponents of B.C.’s grizzly hunt, and a number of protesters were in the courtroom and holding signs and petitions to end the hunt outside court.

Protesters against illegal poaching and hunting gather outside B.C. Provincial Court before Anaheim Ducks defenceman Clayton Stoner was expected to enter a plea in Vancovuer Friday Nov. 13, 2015. Stoner is charged with five counts under the Wildlife Act after a grizzly bear was killed on the central coast in 2013. Photograph by: Darryl Dyck, CP

Protesters against illegal poaching and hunting gather outside B.C. Provincial Court before Anaheim Ducks defenceman Clayton Stoner was expected to enter a plea in Vancovuer Friday Nov. 13, 2015. Stoner is charged with five counts under the Wildlife Act after a grizzly bear was killed on the central coast in 2013.
Photograph by: Darryl Dyck, CP

Cheryl Akida of Burnaby, who was carrying a sign urging the end to grizzly trophy hunting, said Stoner’s hunt was “atrocious” not only because he was after a grizzly trophy but because he “poached” it illegally and because it was the five-year-old grizzly affectionately referred to as “Cheeky.”

She said the bear would have been familiar with human sounds and smells and she wondered “how hard it would have been to shoot him.”

Video:Protesters gathered Friday outside the Vancouver Law Courts while a judge heard arguments in NHLer Clayton Stoner trial for hunting a grizzly bear.

Video:Protesters gathered Friday outside the Vancouver Law Courts while a judge heard arguments in NHLer Clayton Stoner trial for hunting a grizzly bear. (go to Link to see two video interviews at courthouse)

She and others likened Cheeky to Cecil the lion, a well-known lion in Africa shot by a U.S. dentist that made international headlines this year.

Akida said she would like to see Stoner fined and for him to issue an apology for the hunt to First Nations and all British Columbians.

Ross Dixon of Raincoast Conservation said its organization oversees the land Stoner hunted on and if he had sought permission, “the only thing he would have been able to shoot would have been a camera.”

He called for B.C. to end trophy hunting in B.C.

Clayton Stoner, an NHLer now playing for the Anaheim Ducks, holds up a grizzly bear paw and head in 2013 in photos released to media later that year. He's facing charges of illegal trophy hunting of the grizzly after allegedly applying for a resident hunting licence despite living in the U.S. Photograph by: Submitted, Coastal First Nations, www.bearsforever.ca

Clayton Stoner, an NHLer now playing for the Anaheim Ducks, holds up a grizzly bear paw and head in 2013 in photos released to media later that year. He’s facing charges of illegal trophy hunting of the grizzly after allegedly applying for a resident hunting licence despite living in the U.S.
Photograph by: Submitted, Coastal First Nations, www.bearsforever.ca

Stoner has become the focus of a trophy-hunting debate after photos of him holding the grizzly’s head surfaced after the hunt.

http://www.theprovince.com/technology/grizzly+hunt+trial+Clayton+Stoner+adjourned+lawyers+more+time/11515344/story.html

slazaruk@theprovince.com

twitter.com/susanlazaruk