Category Archives: Ecotourism

The Lens of Choice by Justice for BC Grizzlies

2015 09 05_0774
Posted by justiceforbcgrizzlies on July 13, 2016

Trophy bear hunting is hard to talk about. It evokes really powerful emotions and quite frankly I would avoid it if I could. But I made a promise to the bears that I will take a stand on their behalf. So this is where I stand: Killing bears for the sole purpose of taking body parts to display as “trophy” is a social justice issue that is just plain wrong. It needs to end everywhere in BC and by anyone in BC.

The Liberal government spends a lot of money trying to count bears in each of the province’s 56 Grizzly Bear Population Units (GBPU). It spends a further amount managing the annual hunts. It’s easy to think that numbers, statistics and modeling projections tell the truth; they look so clean and reliable. What isn’t so apparent are the value assumptions that lay beneath the numbers and what those views are saying to citizens of this province.

Bear viewing and bear killing obviously cannot happen in the same locations at the same time. Even more so, they are antithetical because they are grounded in differing views about the way the world is. Generally speaking, people who go bear viewing are in small cooperative groups whose values are grounded in curiosity, wonder, trust, peace and human-animal coexistence. Bear trophy hunting acts on a different set of values. People who kill bears for sport make different assumptions from a worldview of certainty, defense, contest, dominance and human-animal conflict. It’s up to ordinary citizens to decide which way of viewing the world most speaks to how they see themselves and their communities.

Population estimates of grizzlies reveal nothing about bear personalities, which anyone who knows bears is intriqued to study. Like which bears have learned to skillfully fish off the lip of a fast-moving waterfall, or swim underwater, or steal fish from other bears. Numbers say nothing about which bear lost an ear over the winter or which mothers have learned, from painful experience, to raise their cubs to maturity. Government officials and guide outfitters will say that such details have no place in serious, “scientific” discussions about bears. In my view, these very details have an essential place because each bear is a unique individual, in much the same way as each human is a unique individual.

Nobody knows for certain how many grizzlies there are in BC. They can’t be counted. Grizzlies have the slowest reproduction rate of any mammal in North America and mortality rates are thought to be much higher than reported. A female grizzly might replace herself only once in her lifetime. Nobody knows how quickly a bear population is replacing itself year to year, or how low a population can go before its members experience rapid, irreversible decline. Sub-adult cubs remain close to their mother’s range before moving farther afield, so dispersal of bear populations is slow. Male grizzlies need a home range of up to 1700 km2 (~650 sq. miles) of connected habitats in order to forage and find females of breeding readiness. They work hard just to live. Killing the largest bears damages genetic information in the species. Roads being built for human recreation, industry and habitation are constantly fragmenting grizzly home ranges. And once a population is recognized as threatened, recovery efforts move at a glacial pace.

Population estimates don’t tell any authentic stories of Grizzly Bears and no number of bears is high enough to justify killing them for sport. Justice for BC grizzlies means to stop killing them and to support education for understanding bears and living around them safely.

Taken from: https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com/2016/07/13/bear-viewing-by-boat/

 

Natural Liberty; Grizzlies Deserve the Right to Live…..Blog by Justice for BC Grizzlies

Someone commented to me recently, “Bears haven’t changed one bit. It’s people that have changed. Bears are still doing what bears have done for thousands of years”. It’s so true.

Wild animals are essentially ownerless in their natural settings. But from early days when nobility and settler groups assumed land title, they also laid claim to all that lived upon those lands. This essentially continues today in the form of provincial authority over Crown lands, which lumps wildlife in with oil, gas, trees, minerals; every form of “resource” extraction.

Consider these observations:

The majority of BC residents are opposed to trophy hunting of Grizzly Bears. Yet other than a short, four-month moratorium on grizzly hunting by the NDP government in 2001, trophy hunting has continued in BC. The government is assumed to hold Crown* land “in public trust” for present and future generations but clearly does not have social license to kill grizzlies. It may even be considered a violation of public trust.

* It must be noted that ~ 95% of the land base in BC is unceded territories of First Nations who take issue with the concept of Crown lands.

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Animal law is a field of legal practice that is still young and growing. Few lawyers represent the interests of animals but those who do, do so because they believe that sentient beings deserve their natural liberty and are not property or “chattel”.

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The now famous CREST (The Center for Responsible Travel) report of 2014 assessed bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest at 12 times more profitable than bear (trophy) hunting. Grizzlies more than “earn their keep” in the province.

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All of which lines up on the side of leaving grizzlies in peace to do what they have done for thousands of years.

It’s no stretch to call it an evolutionary impulse, this desire to see animals live in peace. And now is the time. A different attitude exists today than in 1888, for instance, when a black bear cub on Stanley Park grounds was chained to a stump and became the first inhabitant of the zoo. That was acceptable then, as was the donation of four Arctic polar bears to the zoo by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1962. That simply could not be done in BC today without an activist movement opposing it. And that’s how it should be.

In 2016, it’s justice for Grizzly Bears to have their natural liberty; to eat, play, rest and lumber freely on their home ranges.

Taken from https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com July 7, 2016

Bear Viewing Today and Always posted by Justice for BC Grizzlies

 

2015 09 05_0715

“ I’m afraid to even breathe.”

This, uttered in the smallest of whispers by a substantially large, typically exuberant Australian fellow sitting next to me in our open skiff, as we quietly bobbed offshore from where a young female Grizzly Bear dined on her stick full of breakfast mussels.

It’s what happens when I view grizzlies on their home range. It makes me want to hold my breath, to keep the spell going; it’s downright intoxicating.

Many people have never seen a grizzly close enough to actually observe their behavior, hear them chew and huff, see them scent the wind and gain a sense of the individuality of these creatures. They look so different from one another in colour, markings, body language and general carriage. They are intensely focused on food, which stands to reason when you consider how much grass, grubs, mice, bark, mushrooms, bulbs, insects, fruit, seeds, carrion and fish (sometimes) it takes to fill a bear’s belly. With plenty of food and no threats, they just go about their business.

Likely, most politicians have never observed a bear in such a way. In fact, the image of grizzlies that they hold may be rooted in misconceptions of fear and misunderstanding. Yet these same politicians are making policy decisions about the fate of grizzlies.

Re-framing mindsets about Grizzly Bears is a service to humanity. Consider this: that magical moment of wanting to whisper in the presence of a grizzly touches part of our brain that soothes the “fight or flight” response and bathes the nervous system with compassion and understanding. We make better decisions in such a state; that’s good for us and good for the grizzlies.

Caring about Grizzly Bears is a window into caring for all of Nature, of which we all are part.

by Valerie Murray for https://JusticeforBCGrizzlies June 21, 2016

Martyn Brown: The Grisly (Grizzly) Business of Trophy Hunting in Super, Natural British Columbia

To Comment and to view photos go to: http://www.straight.com/news/724881/martyn-brown-grisly-business-trophy-hunting-super-natural-british-columbia

Martyn Brown: The grisly business of trophy hunting in Super, Natural British Columbia
une 24th, 2016 at 3:40 PM
Martyn Brown is was the long-serving chief of staff to former premier Gordon Campbell.

Imagery abounds. Golden fields of swaying wheat. Lush green vineyards of plump, perfect grapes. Acres of apples, all red and delicious. Harvest: so suggestive of humans in harmony with the Earth.

So redolent of life.

So much more super and natural than, I don’t know—slaughter?—the word that more accurately describes British Columbia’s annual grizzly bear trophy hunt.

Actually, even that word isn’t quite accurate, for it connotes the killing of animals for food.

Grizzly bears—like black bears, cougars, wolves, lynxes, bobcats, and wolverines–are legally “harvested” without any expectation that their meat will be eaten by people.

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To Premier, Trophy Killing of Grizzlies begins again in B.C.,An inhumane & 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.

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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.

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