Category Archives: All Killing Grizzlies Is for trophy

A Grizzly Controversy by Maureen-Rae Chute

Here is a summary of a report written two decades ago by Dionys deLeeuw, a Senior Habitat Protection Biologist with the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks in Terrace:  http://www3.telus.net/public/a6a46571/bcerart/Vol8/agrizzly.htm

In 2017 have things changed within the COS for the better since this article was written? Societal values have definitely changed and more emphasis is on ‘wildlife conservation and habitat protection’ – Bears Matter

A Grizzly Controversy

What has been suggested for years by opponents of grizzly bear trophy hunting – that wildlife officials who hunt should not also be in charge of management decisions affecting their target species – has now been said by someone from within the government’s own ranks. Dionys deLeeuw, a Senior Habitat Protection Biologist with the Ministry of Environment, Lands and Parks in Terrace has charged in a self-published report titled Conflicts and Interests, Grizzly Bear Hunting in B.C., that a conflict of interest is apparent within the ranks of wildlife branch officials, the majority of which, he says, are licenced hunters. In serving the interests of hunters through the continued authorization of limited-entry hunting of grizzly bears, a species designated as “vulnerable,” these managers also directly serve their own self-interests, an argument which he goes into great detail to build in the 34-page report that has garnered criticism from the hunting community, but has yet to draw any official response from the government.

deLeeuw applies the definitions of “self interest” to the context of wildlife protection explaining that a wildlife professional is expected to work to protect the interests of the animals for their own sake and not for their use by humans. “Professionals who view animals as game, generally manage them to satisfy sporting interests for those who hunt and fish, including themselves.” Unfortunately, his claim is supported only by anecdotal information and unofficial staff surveys which he says reveal that an estimated 70-80 percent of wildlife branch staff are licensed hunters. Restrictions to Freedom of Information Act requests make it virtually impossible to verify his claim.

This weakness aside, de Leeuw is nevertheless able to build a convincing argument by demonstrating how the majority of wildlife management decisions to date have benefited a minority of the province’s population, hunters, who make up a mere 1 percent of B.C. residents, according to recent polls.

His survey of Habitat Conservation Fund initiatives from 1986-1996, reveal that 70 percent of the studies and projects initiated over this period were devoted to game species, while only 10 percent dealt with non-game species. Another review of Wildlife Branch publications from 1935 to 1995 revealed that 77 percent were devoted entirely to game species, and only 7 percent to non-game. “If my review of projects and technical reports is any indication, then about 75 to 80 percent of all fish and wildlife management is devoted to maintaining or furthering the interests of anglers and hunters.”

Directing his arguments specifically to the grizzly bear, de Leeuw suggests that wildlife managers, acting on their own self-interest as members of the hunting community, continue to allow sport hunting of the bear because they see it as fundamental to maintaining all rights to hunt. “The grizzly bear (sic) is not just any animal. It occupies the unfortunate but prestigious position of being at the very apex of all hunting. To remove grizzly bears from the traditional repertoire of hunters, is to pluck an ultimate trophy animal out of their sport.” Quoting from a report titled the Sociological and Ethical Considerations of Black Bear Hunting (Thomas D.I. Beck et.al), he contends that hunters perceive a ban on grizzly bear hunting as merely the thin edge of the wedge. “It is precisely for this reason that government protection of grizzly bear hunting brings the issue of self and conflict of interest clearly into sharp focus,” states de Leeuw. “Such a move would, in effect, be perceived as jeopardizing the stronghold hunters have had in government to control and influence management of all public wildlife resources for their own selective use.”

de Leeuw’s report has added a whole new dimension to the debate over the sport hunt of grizzlies. While he echoes groups like Bear Watch, The Grizzly Project and Northwest Wildlife Preservation Society in calling for a ban on the sport hunt of grizzly bears based on biological and ethical factors accounting for their designation as a “vulnerable” species, it is his unique insights as a professional biologist and long-time employee with the ministry that lends further credence to the debate.

“We feel it is a really powerful document,” says Eric Donnely of Bear Watch whose press release on the report issued in July helped push de Leeuw’s report into the mainstream press. But Donnely doubts whether the government would be prepared to apply a conflict of interest investigation to an entire department. “They wouldn’t know where to start.” Instead, Donnely suggests the reports value rests in its ability to bring to light a major imbalance in the representation of hunting interests versus non-hunting interests of wildlife. “There are benefits to having hunters in management simply because they have access to and dialogue with other hunters. But the representation seems to be biased heavily towards them.”

For a copy of the report, Conflicts and Interests, Grizzly Bear Hunting in B.C., contact: Bear Watch, 604-730-6081, fax 730-6092, email bears@bearwatch.org

Maureen Rae-Chute

Auditor General’s Report Reveals Grizzly Bear Management Under FLNR Has Failed, by VWS Society

October 30, 2017 TMTVNews.com

by VWS.org

http://bctvkootenays.com/2017/10/30/auditor-generals-report-reveals-grizzly-bear-management-under-the-ministry-of-forests-has-failed/

Recently BC’s Auditor General (AG) reported a plethora of problems in the management of BC’s grizzly bears.
(Submitted by the Valhalla Wilderness Society) The report says the problems were caused by a shift of wildlife management responsibilities from the Ministry of Environment (MOE) to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources (FLNRO) that occurred in 2011. According to the Auditor General’s report, “MFLNRO has most of the authority to make decisions that impact grizzly bear populations and habitat, leaving MOE with limited powers to carry out its mandate to manage and protect.”

“This was a gross betrayal of grizzly bears and all BC wildlife”, says VWS biologist Wayne McCrory, a former member of the past government Grizzly Bear Scientific Advisory Committee. “It is an apparent conflict of interest for FLNRO, which destroys habitat for grizzly bears by maintaining high rates of logging, pushing logging roads into wilderness areas, and degrading fish streams.”
Long before this transfer of power in 2011, the Ministry of Environment began to be stripped of much of its staff and funding. The findings of the Auditor General include a 1995 Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy that has never had a management plan attached to it, and thus, has no definitive procedures for implementation. A strategy for conducting population inventories and monitoring is touted on the internet, but is not used and has no funding.

FLNRO determines the number of grizzly bears that can be killed by hunters each year, yet the audit found a number of problems with the way this is calculated. The auditors at least expected that MFLNRO would be monitoring and evaluating forest development plans for their impacts on grizzly bears, but it wasn’t doing that either. Grizzly bears tend to disappear from roaded areas due to hunter access and increased human conflicts, as well as poaching. There are 600,000 kilometres of resource roads in the province, expanding by approximately 10,000 km a year, often without the necessary grizzly bear population figures or habitat inventory.
The 2017 audit notes that BC has failed to implement some recommendations of a 2010 audit on biodiversity. The 2010 report stated: “it was apparent that the conservation of biodiversity will become more at risk in the future due to the inadequate connectivity of parks and protected areas.” According to the recent report: “there has been little effort to address the issue of connectivity for grizzly bears….”

“The worst impact on wildlife was the past government’s almost 20-year failure to create large, fully protected, permanent parks, other than in the Great Bear Rainforest,” says Craig Pettitt, a director of VWS. “In the interior, the Valhalla Wilderness Society’s Selkirk Mountain Caribou Park Proposal would protect connectivity corridors between three existing parks. It contains prime grizzly bear habitat, grizzly bear viewing businesses and 29 severely endangered mountain caribou; it has had the benefit of numerous scientific studies, and has minimal resource conflicts.
Reversing the damage done by years of mismanagement of wildlife will require the new government to restore full responsibility for the Ministry of Environment Act and the Wildlife Act to the Ministry of Environment, with sufficient resources to do the job well. Secondly, BC urgently needs a dramatic increase in the percentage of fully protected areas.

Grizzly Meat Poisoning Alert in Russia, 34 people contaminated, 16 from Trichinosis

http://siberiantimes.com/other/others/news/major-brown-bear-meat-poisoning-alert-in-tomsk-region-as-34-contaminated-and-16-suffer-from-trichinosis/

GrizzlyMeatPhotoSmoked bear meat. Picture: mokvo4.ru

By The Siberian Times reporter
25 October 2017
Four children among those hit by the infection which has spread from a beast slaughtered this year

Trichinosis has been confirmed in inhabitants of Kataiga village in Tomsk region.
One of them now in the hospital at Siberian State Medical University in Tomsk.
Among the infected are residents of Tomsk and Barnaul.
Trichinosis is infection caused by the roundworm Trichinella spiralis or Trichinella roundworm.

Symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, muscle pain, and fever.
People acquire the infection by eating raw or undercooked contaminated meat.
In total, watchdog Rospotrebnadzor detected 34 people, including four children, one only two, who consumed contaminated brown bear meat.

A dozen live in the village and the rest in Tomsk and Barnaul.
The head of Verkheketsk district, Alexey Sidikhin, said: ‘The bear was killed in the summer, if not in the spring.
‘The hunters were from Novosibirsk, their exact number is unknown to us – they immediately left.
‘One of the residents of Kataiga also took part in the hunt, apparently as a guide. He is now in the hospital.

Village chief Ivan Nasonov said: ‘We have seized 57 kilograms of bear meat.’ Picture: The Siberian TimesSeizedBearMeat

The total number of people confirmed as having contracted trichinosis is 16.

‘We are now looking for the hunters on our own. They also need to be warned that there is a risk of serious illness.’
Some meat was smoked, some salted. The hunters gifted the meat to villagers.
Village chief Ivan Nasonov said: ‘We have seized 57 kilograms of bear meat.
‘Some was sent analysis, some was destroyed.’
Trichinosis is a parasitic disease caused by roundworms of the Trichinella type.
During initial infection, invasion of the intestines can result in diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and vomiting.

DeadGrizzly The number of brown bears has recently increased this year. Picture: Zeya Reserve

Migration of larvae to muscle, which occurs after a week after being infected, can cause swelling of the face, fever, muscle pains, and a rash. Minor infection may be without symptoms.
Complications may include inflammation of the heart muscle, an attack on the central nervous system involvement, and inflammation of the lungs.
Trichinosis can be fatal depending on the severity of the infection.
Death can occur four to six weeks after infection, usually caused by myocarditis, encephalitis, or pneumonia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Letter to Govt w Photo of Large Grizzly Bear Trophy Killed Oct’17

Members of the public may send comments to the Fish and Wildlife Branch at grizzly.bear@gov.bc.ca until November 2, 2017 –
The letter below is a sample of letters that have been emailed to Fish and Wildlife Branch….

Possibly the 2nd Largest grizzly bear hunted in Northern B.C. in Oct'16- killed by a trophy hunter from the U.S. on a guided hunt

Possibly the 2nd Largest grizzly bear ever hunted B.C. in Oct’17- killed by a trophy hunter from the U.S. on a guided hunt. A meat hunt will only make hunters go underground or take more selfies and give away the so called meat -note by Bears Matter

Quote taken from hunter’s Facebook page before it was closed to the public on Oct 23’17             “Big Teddy is hanging out at my buddy’s place in Vancouver BC while I wait for all the permits to cross the border.” – US Trophy Hunter

Oct 23, 2017

Dear Fish and Wildlife Branch at grizzly.bear@gov.bc.ca

Re: Possible loopholes in the plan to regulate the grizzly hunt in our province

I just read a post about a grizzly bear that was killed recently. It was a record-sized grizzly bear which apparently is the second largest grizzly ever shot in BC.

I believe that an unconditional ban must be put on this deplorable hunt. It is not acceptable, on any level, to snuff out the life of a living, breathing creature, for fun and for profit.

All loopholes that may allow trophy (and they are all trophy!) hunts must be closed. I hope and pray that I never again have to view a picture like the one I saw this morning – a hunter smiling over his kill of the “second largest grizzly ever shot in BC”. This was a beautiful creature that did not deserve to die. The “hunter” was just one of many heartless, thrill seeking individuals –maniacal psychopaths really; who kills for fun other than psychopaths? – who use our beautiful wilderness for their fun-seeking, destructive and selfish pleasure. We must not allow it. British Columbia is better than this – our government must protect all life in this province.

I voted for this government on their promise to “end the grizzly hunt” – to end it! I even told our MP, Ralph Sultan, that I was voting NDP because the Liberals would not end the hunt. However, from what I have read, I fear that the hunt “will not end unless the NDP Government closes loopholes in their plan to regulate the grizzly hunt in our province.”

Please ensure that there are no “loopholes” – and that grizzly bear hunting will be banned completely – not just “regulated”. I trust that the government will fulfill its promise and that my vote was not wasted.

Thank you for requesting our input.

PS: with regard to “Bear Meat”– On The Mayo Clinic Website under
Diseases and Conditions -Trichinosis – https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/trichinosis/basics/causes/CON-20027095
It states that “Wild animals, including bear, continue to be sources of infection.”
Never believe it when these creeps lie that “bear meat” is for consumption – it’s not!

Bears Matter Thanksgiving Message to Premier Horgan re: Moratorium on Grizzly Hunt accross BC

ndppressconfnov23rd

October 07, 2017

Dear Honourable Premier Horgan,

I want to sincerely wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving celebration especially as our new Premier.

We, British Columbians, are so fortunate and have so much to be thankful for. We can never take for granted the natural treasures and abundance that makes our province so special.

Premier Horgan, many of us voted for you to ensure that our beautiful natural lands are properly protected for future generations. On that note there is one area of contention that brings your government’s commitment to responsible stewardship into question; your mis-guided, pre-election promise that calls for an old law to be brought back that would force the packing out of meat of a hunted grizzly.

Unfortunately just because you make a law doesn’t mean that it will end the non-meat hunting of Grizzlies. If this were the case we would all be behind you!

Please rescind this promise immediately and enact a moratorium on all hunting of grizzly bears across BC. This one simple, logical step would send a powerful message to the world that BC is taking back control from those that wish to exploit it’s treasures.

Please read our Open Letter, Mr. Premier, signed by 38 leaders in grizzly conservation and understand we mostly support your leadership except on this issue we need you to see it in the light of day for what it is. There is no real ‘grizzly meat’ hunt by ethical hunters and never will be even if you make it a law. If your government continues to buy into the political maneuvering by the prohunter groups then your leadership will be tainted throughout your reign. Please pause, rethink and show the courage and leadership that will make us proud! Our Grizzlies’ future are depending on you and so are we!

Most sincerely,
Barb Murray
Bears Matter
Nanoose Bay via  North Van via Whistler via  Prince George

cc  Premier@gov.bc.ca , FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca , ENV.Minister@gov.bc.ca, ABR.Minister@gov.ca, Gord.Johns@ndp.ca, Andrew.Weaver.MLA@leg.bc.ca , Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca , Sonia.Furstenau.MLA@leg.bc.ca , Tom.Ethier@gov.bc.ca , Tony.Hamilton@gov.bc.ca , Bruce.McLellan@gov.bc.ca , Tristan.Jones@gov.bc.ca

For more information go to our Leaders of Grizzly Bear Conservation’s Website Click Here: Valhalla Wilderness Society in New Denver, BC

WhoareweinBC

 

Letter to BC Gov’t Opposing Hunting Grizzly Bears For Meat

Now we have another study that indicates our pig-headed and intransigent government is on the wrong side of the public’s desires with respect to its peculiar enthusiasm for endorsing trophy hunting of a species that has already been extirpated from much of its range. Photograph by: JONATHAN HAYWARD, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Photograph by: JONATHAN HAYWARD, THE CANADIAN PRESS

Click Here: For more information on Valhalla Wilderness Society

October 6, 2017

OPEN LETTER TO THE BC GOVERNMENT OPPOSING
THE CONTINUATION OF HUNTING GRIZZLY BEARS FOR MEAT

We, the undersigned environmental and animal welfare organzations, and wildlife-based businesses, are pleased that the current BC government is committed to end the trophy hunt of grizzly bears. However we strongly oppose the government’s plans to allow continued grizzly bear hunting, under the pretext of hunting for meat, except for a jointly-regulated First Nations ceremonial/sustenance hunt. Part of the Great Bear Rainforest would have a total ban on hunting, but that’s only a very small part of grizzly bear habitat in BC. We oppose the meat hunt for the following reasons:

1. Grizzly bears are a species at risk. They are blue-listed in BC, and threatened by poaching, human conflicts, habitat destruction and hunting. They have disappeared from 18% of their range in BC. (1) Out of 56 grizzly bear subpopulations in BC, 9 are classified as “threatened” by British Columbia.

2. We expect to see much trophy hunting continued under the guise of
“meat” hunting. In the past, almost all grizzly bear hunting has been trophy
hunting. Many hunters find the meat unpalatable. Grizzly bears were
included by BC Fish & Wildlife with non-game animals such as wolverines,
wolves and cougars. Previously, BC hunting regulations have had
a provision allowing hunters to leave the meat on the ground and take
only the trophy parts. People do not travel hundreds or thousands of kilometres,
pay tens of thousands of dollars, and risk their lives shooting at
grizzly bears to put meat on the table. The proposed new regulations for
meat hunting will simply disguise trophy hunting as meat hunting. Even
if the head, hide and claws are left on the ground, or given to a conservation
officer, the hunter will take away trophy videos, photographs and
bragging rights. The bears will still be killed for sport.

The BC government is considering various options to distinguish trophy hunting from meat hunting, but they only increase our conviction that this division is unenforceable. For many years BC has been unable to control substantial poaching of bears, how will it account for every trophy part of every bear shot by hunters?

3. The government has claimed the grizzly hunt is sustainable. However, independent biologists have been saying for years that this is not true. We do not even know with certainty how many grizzly bears there are in BC, or how many can be killed without reducing the population. Peer-reviewed studies by scientists have found numerous cases of too many bears being killed (by all causes), even according to the government’s own population numbers. Studies have proven that hunters often kill too many female bears. The European Union investigated BC’s grizzly bear hunt, ruled it environmentally unsustainable, and banned the import of trophies.

4. Closing the meat hunt in a limited area will concentrate hunting in other areas. While the government proposes to stop all grizzly bear hunting in a 230,000-hectare area of the Great Bear Rainforest, this is only a small part of grizzly bear habitat across BC. Grizzly bear hunting in this area will simply move to other coastal and interior areas of the province.

In addition, the undersigned object to the following aspects of the public consultation process for the new grizzly bear hunting regulations.

1. The process only considers how to manage the meat hunt, not whether there should even be a meat hunt. Participants are forced to accept the meat hunt as fait accompli.

2. Poor public access to information. Only those who sign confidentiality agreements can have access to some important information. Only those willing to sign the confidentiality agreements can be “stakeholders”, which receive priority consultation. The government has not released a complete list of stakeholders. The process was not advertised until recently, when it had already been running about a month, unbeknownst to many undersigned organizations. The confidentiality agreements represent muzzling of public organizations and suppressing information.

In June of this year, 23 organizations concerned with the welfare of wildlife sent a letter to the BC government that stated: “The wildlife of the province belongs to all British Columbians, and has by law been held by the government in trust.” The letter came about because the provincial government had been giving hunting organizations and related businesses priority access to consultation on matters related to wildlife, resulting in glaring policy bias.

Today the undersigned organizations and businesses are seeking increased recognition by the government that BC wildlife belongs to all Canadians, who have an equal stake in how it is managed, and an equal right to relevant information. We expect proportionate representation in all provincial wildlife matters. BC has over 1,500 species at risk. Recognizing the worldwide biodiversity crisis, the management of our wildlife must shift away from maximizing how many animals hunters can kill, to the practice of conservation biology to ensure the survival of species at risk.

We hold that the upcoming Auditor General’s report on the grizzly bear hunt — which was due to be released in September — is critical information for all parties to have before making decisions on this issue. Rushing to change the hunting regulations before the report is released wastes the tax dollars that have been spent to better inform decision-making. We urge the BC government not to authorize any further grizzly bear hunting until it has done a full review of public input and the soon-to-be released Auditor General’s report.

Sincerely,

References
1. COSEWIC assessment and update status report on the Grizzly Bear of Canada, https://www.registrelep-sararegistry.gc.ca/default.asp?lang=En&n=A32186C4-1&offset=9

2. Artelle, K. A., Anderson, S. C., Cooper, A. B., Paquet, P. C., Reynolds, J. D., Darimont, C. T., “Confronting Uncertainty in Wildlife Management: Performance of Grizzly Bear Management,” PLOS ONE, Nov. 2013, Vol. 8, http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article/file?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0078041&type=printable

44 Signators

Animal Advocates of BC
judy@animaladvocates.com
Animal Alliance of Canada
Liz White
Animal Justice
Camille Labchuck
Animal Protection Party of
Canada, Liz White
Applied Conservation GIS
Baden Cross
BC Nature
Dr. Alan Burger
BC SPCA
Dr. Sara Dubois
Bears Matter
Barb Murray
Canadians for Bears
Ainslie Willock
Clayoquot Action
Bonny Glambeck
Craighead Institute
Dr. Lance Craighead
David Suzuki Foundation
Faisal Moola
DeerSafe
Kelly Carson
First Nations Environmental
Network
Suzanne Lawson
Friends of the Lardeau
Rhonda Batchelor
Friends of Nemaiah
Dave Williams
George Rammell
Grizzly bear activist
Great Bear Chalet
Jefferson Bray
Humane Society International/
Canada
Julie MacInnes
Justice for BC Grizzlies
Valerie Murray
Kootenay Reflections Photography,
Jim Lawrence
Kwiakah First Nation
Frank Voelker
West Coast Wild Art
Leanne Hodges
Lifeforce Foundation
Peter Hamilton
Ocean Adventures Charter Co.
Ltd.
Eric Boyum
Ocean Light II Adventures
Jenn Broom
Pacific Rainforest Adventure
Tours Inc.
Ronda and Gary Murdock
Pacific Wild
Lindsay Marie Stewart
Purcell Alliance for Wilderness
Gary Diers
Save-the-Cedar League
Rick and Julie Zammuto
Steve Williamson Photography
Steve Williamson
Stop the Grizzly Killing Society
Trish Boyum
The Fur-Bearers
Lesley Fox
Tourists against Trophy Hunting
Judy Malone
Valhalla Wilderness Society
Wayne McCrory, R.P.Bio.
Wildlife Defence League
Tommy Knowles
Wolf Awareness Incorporated
Sadie Parr
Zoocheck Canada
Julie Woodyer