Category Archives: David Suzuki Foundation

Media Advisory: 38 Signators Say Grizzly ‘Meat’ Hunt Will Be A ‘Trophy’ Hunt in Disguise

Human-caused mortality is the greatest source of death for grizzly bears and is the primary factor limiting grizzly bear populations. The federal Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada lists grizzly bears as a species of special concern.

Human-caused mortality is the greatest source of death for grizzly bears and is the primary factor limiting grizzly bear populations. The federal Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada lists grizzly bears as a species of special concern.

For Immediate Release:
October 6, 2017

New Denver, BC – Thirty-eight environmental and animal welfare organizations, along with wildlife-based businesses and prominent activists, have signed an Open Letter to the BC Government opposing the continuation of grizzly bear hunting for meat. “The BC government is planning to end trophy hunting of grizzly bears, but will allow them to be hunted for meat across most of the province, except for a 230,000-hectare portion of the Great Bear Rainforest,” says Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild. “We are asking for a complete ban on hunting grizzly bears all over BC.”

The Open Letter says there has never been significant hunting of grizzly bears for meat in BC. “Previously grizzly bears were classified by BC Fish & Wildlife with non-game animals such as wolverines, wolves and cougars,” says Alan Burger of BC Nature. “Hunters were specifically allowed under law to leave the meat on the ground and take only the trophy parts. Many British Columbians are appalled that the government has now invented a grizzly bear meat hunt.”

“People don’t 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 Open Letter states. “They largely do it only for trophies and sport. Even if they have to leave the head, hide and claws behind, they take away trophy videos, photographs and bragging rights. The bears will still be killed for sport”.

The Open Letter disputes the BC government’s claim that hunting grizzly bears is sustainable. “Grizzly bears are a species at risk,” says Wayne McCrory, a bear biologist and Valhalla Wilderness Society director. “For years independent scientists have warned the government that BC may have far fewer grizzly bears than we think”.

“We have thriving grizzly bear viewing and photography businesses in the Interior, just like on the coast,” says famed Kootenay wildlife photographer, Jim Lawrence. “People are thrilled to see these magnificent animals alive and in photographs.

“Stop the Grizzly Killing Society receives comments from many hundreds of people,” says TrishBoyum, who has campaigned tirelessly to protect grizzlies. “It is clear that British Columbians want a total ban on killing grizzly bears across BC, except where they would be hunted by some First Nations People for sustenance and ceremonial purposes.”

“Collectively, our organizations, which represent the majority of British Columbians, 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. This is a very critical conservation issue in our province and we have an opportunity to do it right.,” says Dr. Sara Dubois, Chief Scientific Officer of the BC SPCA.

Contact Persons:
Wayne McCrory, bear biologist and director, VWS, Click here: More information on VWS
Dr. Alan Burger, President, BC Nature,                                                                                            Trish Boyum, Stop Grizzly Killing Society
Jim Lawrence, Kootenay Reflections Photography,                                                                    
Dr. Sara Dubois, BC SPCA, 604.647.6403 (office)
Lindsay Stewart, Pacific Wild,

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List of Signators

1. Animal Advocates of BC
2. Animal Alliance of Canada
3. Animal Justice
4. Animal Protection Party
5. Applied Conservation GIS
6. BC Nature
7. BC SPCA
8. Bears Matter
9. Canadians for Bears
10. Clayoquot Action
11. Craighead Institute
12. David Suzuki Foundation
13. DeerSafe Victoria
14. First Nations Environmental Network
15. Friends of the Lardeau River
16. Friends of Nemaha Valley
17. George Rammell Grizzly bear activist
18. Great Bear Chalet
19. Humane Society International/Canada
20. Justice for B.C. Grizzlies
21. Kootenay Reflections Photography
22. Kwiakah First Nation
23. West Coast Wild Art Co.
24. Lifeforce Foundation
25. Ocean Adventures Charter Co.
26. Ocean Light II Adventures
27. Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours
28. Pacific Wild
29. Purcell Alliance for Wilderness
30. Save the Cedar League
31. Steve Williamson Photography
32. Stop the Grizzly Killing Society
33. The Furbearers
34. Tourists Against Trophy Hunting
35. Valhalla Wilderness Society
36. Wildlife Defense League
37. Wolf Awareness Incorporated
38. Zoocheck Canada

 

 

Grizzly bears seen as gold for mining, B.C. gov’t emails reveal Vancouver Observer

Relaxing Grizzlygrouse-grizzly_n3d3306-web

Relaxing grizzly bear. Photo by Andrew S. Wright.

FOI investigation reveals that senior B.C. bureaucrats seized on the province’s rising grizzly bear numbers —disputed by researchers—to “mitigate” the impacts of mining

The Freedom of Information (FOI) released memos were obtained by the Vancouver Observer.

In early 2014, the BC Liberals controversially re-opened the grizzly hunt in two pockets of the province in the Caribou and Kootenay hunting areas. Mining Minister Bill Bennett was also given high-level briefings on January 7 to re-start the trophy hunt, the memos show.

Provincial biologists calculated that grizzlies in the west Chilcotin wilderness were rising by 91 bears over a year prior. So certain bureaucrats appear to have seen that as support for a proposed mine.  

“[By] all accounts there’s a few critters to spare, but my question is whether they might be kept handy to help mitigate a new mine,” wrote Gerry MacDougall, a wildlife manager with the Forests, Lands and Natural Resources ministry, at the time.

“Do you know if anyone connected those dots for [the Minister’s] consideration?” he asked.

Assistant Deputy Minister Richard Manwaring replied: “I don’t know Gerry. It’s an annual [hunting] decision, so we could revisit that for sure if the mine became real I think.” 

An active mine proposal at the time was Taseko’s “New Prosperity” gold-copper project, until it was rejected last year. A federal panel concluded that there “would be a significant adverse cumulative effect on the South Chilcotin grizzly bear population, unless necessary cumulative effects mitigation measures are effectively implemented.”

The mine remains fiercely opposed by the Ts’ilhqot’in Nation, fresh off a Supreme Court land-rights victory.

“Worrisome” use of grizzly data by B.C. government

 

One grizzly bear policy expert growled at what he sees as the province’s odd use of bears for industrial interests.

“This is very worrisome,” reacted Faisal Moola, a forestry professor at the University of Toronto on Thursday.

“They’re using this contested evidence that grizzly bear numbers are increasing, to justify not only a controversial [hunting] activity that a majority of British Columbians are against, but also to justify resource development in those areas as well.”  

“This shows a real lack of understanding of the science,” he added. 

grizzly hunting open 2014 map regions caribou kootenay

Provincial government map of the two areas opened grizzly hunting in 2014: the Caribou and Kootenay Boundary management areas.

In response to questions from the Vancouver Observer on Thursday, a Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations spokesperson disputed that the director was using the bears to promote resource development.

“[The] interpretation of this email is inaccurate,” said Bethel. 

Rather, Bethel stated, the wildlife director was inquiring “as to whether other impacts to bear populations (such as habitat disturbance from mining) were also factored into consideration before allowing a Limited Entry Hunt.”  

In other emails discussing how to brief Minister Bennett, the same wildlife director repeated the idea that the alleged uptick in grizzly population numbers could be used as a way to mitigate resource-extraction impacts. 

“If there is a harvestable surplus [of grizzlies] the Minister of Forestry Lands and Natural Resources could consider those to offset the cumulative effects of resource development,” he wrote.

The presumption of a “surplus” of grizzlies is not shared by everyone. Moola, who doubles as a director general with the David Suzuki Foundation, says scientists doubt the government’s bear count, which suggests there are 15,000 grizzlies in B.C.

A recent study by SFU and the University of Victoria found the province’s grizzly count science had a high degree of uncertainty.

Read More:

Suzuki: Time to End Grisly Trophy Hunt in BC

Suzuki-Time-to-end-grisly-trophy-hunt

NHL hockey player Clayton Stoner posing with dead grizzly (Coastal Guardian Watchmen) http://commonsensecanadian.ca/suzuki-time-to-end-grisly-trophy-hunt/

Posted March 10, 2015 by Dr. David Suzuki in Species At Risk

Watching grizzly bears catch and eat salmon as they swim upstream to spawn is an unforgettable experience. Many people love to view the wild drama. Some record it with photos or video. But a few want to kill the iconic animals — not to eat, just to put their heads on a wall or coats on a floor.

Continue reading

Grizzly bear population at risk as B.C. Liberal government aligns with trophy hunters

Photo of Premier Christy Clark at 2012 GOABC convention from Facebook. GOABC president Mark Werner, left, and executive director Scott Ellis, right.
 
By Claire Hume Jan.27’15 Vancouver Observer
 
Third in a series investigating B.C.’s trophy hunt. Read part one and two for the whole story. 

Dressed in a black cowboy hat, B.C. Premier Christy Clark beams at the camera as she accepts the President’s Award from the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. The year is 2012, and the outfitters are gathered for their annual convention in Kelowna. Clark has just announced new regulatory changes to benefit the hunting guides, and was cheered by the audience. 

“So awesome to have Premier Clark in attendance and noting her support for HUNTING and the role of hunters as conservationists and as the original eco-tourism promoters in B.C.!” a commenter gushed on the Guide Outfitters’ Association (GOABC) Facebook page. 

Representing 245 outfitters, GOABC is one of the key proponents of ongoing trophy hunting of grizzly bears. Its members constitute a tiny minority of B.C.’s population, but carry significant weight with the provincial Liberal government. 

Like Canada’s polar bears, B.C.’s grizzly bears have been listed as a “species of special concern” by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). Unlike their Arctic cousins, though, grizzly bears don’t qualify for federally legislated conservation measures — despite the fact that B.C. grizzly numbers have dropped from an estimated 35,000 grizzlies in 1915 to possibly as low as six thousand today — and have become a coveted prize for trophy hunters

Read Full Article at: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/grizzly-bear-population-risk-bc-liberal-government-aligns-trophy-hunters 

Please sign and share Petition to Protect Grizzly Bears by Banning the Trophy Hunt in BC https://www.change.org/p/protect-grizzly-bears-by-banning-the-trophy-hunt-in-bc

B.C. Government gets Failing Grades in Grizzly Bear Management by Dr. Faisal Moola

Human-caused mortality is the greatest source of death for grizzly bears and is the primary factor limiting grizzly bear populations. The federal Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada lists grizzly bears as a species of special concern.

Human-caused mortality is the greatest source of death for grizzly bears and is the primary factor limiting grizzly bear populations. The federal Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada lists grizzly bears as a species of special concern.

By Faisal Moola, Director General, Ontario and Northern Canada

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/blogs/panther-lounge/2014/03/bc-government-gets-failing-grades-in-grizzly-bear-management/

A century ago, 35,000 grizzly bears lived in British Columbia and also flourished from Alaska to Mexico, and east to Ontario. Today, only about 15,000 grizzly bears inhabit B.C., having disappeared from the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan and around Fort St. John.

Despite being large and ferocious, 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.

Bear experts have long known that if we want to keep grizzlies on the landscape, we must protect their habitat and ensure that the animals are not needlessly killed by humans. These two strategies are at the core of British Columbia’s official policy, the Grizzly Bear Strategy, which has guided management practices in the province since 1995. The ambitious strategy outlines steps to sustain the province’s bears with healthy populations and recover those with declining populations. It requires the government to protect bear habitat in a network of “grizzly bear management areas” where resource development is prevented and/or strictly managed, hunting is prohibited and risk-related recreational activities — such as off-highway vehicle use — are controlled. The plan also recognizes that human-caused mortality must be reduced and kept below sustainable thresholds by conservatively managing the grizzly bear sport hunt.

Our peer-reviewed study found that the government has not delivered on the plan’s goals because it has failed to implement it. The study includes a report card, which found that although progress has been made in developing more accurate population estimates (grade: C), increasing scientific knowledge about grizzly bears (grade: B) and improving public awareness of the species (grade: C), little has been done to implement the Grizzly Bear Strategy to protect grizzly bear habitat (grade: D-) or prevent overkilling of bears, including in the province’s controversial trophy hunt (grade: D). The government was also given a D grade for its inability to maintain the abundance and diversity of grizzly bears.

The B.C. government’s failure to manage grizzly bears effectively under its own policies is having disastrous consequences for the health of the species. Nine sub-populations are now on the verge of extinction, and scientists maintain that the government’s controversial trophy hunt is leading to widespread overkilling of bears.

Despite these alarming findings, government leaders continue to claim that the species is well-managed. This is a tired refrain we’ve heard before with government sanctioned overharvesting responsible for the cod collapse off the East Coast. Other species, such as woodland caribou in the north, have lost habitat to industrial development. By the time government took action, both species were well on their way to disappearing in some areas.

Today’s study is a wake-up call for the B.C government to adopt a precautionary approach to managing bear populations. The good news is that in places such as the U.S., where plans protected and managed the species, grizzly populations have become self-sustaining in places where only a few decades ago they had been written off.

You can help by sending a message to our political leaders that they must protect this iconic species before it’s too late.