Category Archives: John Horgan

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

 

 

Media Advisory: 44 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 – Forty-four 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,

-30-

List of 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

 

Pacific Wild Blog: Poll British Columbians Support Ban on All Grizzly Bear Hunting

Click Here to Read Full Blog on Pacific Wild’s Site

IanMcAllisterGrizzlyCub  Oct 3, 2017Pacific Wild
Vancouver, BC – Three-in-four British Columbians believe no grizzly bears should be hunted in the province, a new poll by Insights West conducted in partnership with Lush Cosmetics and the Commercial Bear Viewing Association has found.
In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 74% of British Columbians are in favour of banning all grizzly bear hunting in the province, while 19% are opposed.
The highest level of support for banning all hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia is observed among women (78%), residents aged 35-to-54 (79%), Vancouver Islanders (81%), BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and BC Green Party voters in the 2017 provincial election (81% for each) and non-hunters (75%).
In addition, almost three-in-five self-described hunters (58%) are in favour of banning all grizzly bear hunting in British Columbia.

PollBanMeatHuntOct'17

The Government of British Columbia recently banned trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the province. This decision is backed by almost nine-in-ten British Columbians (88%), including 69% who “strongly” support it.
The survey was conducted at the end of August, two weeks after the government’s announcement. The decision allows a residential hunt to continue.
“Our polling has shown that British Columbians have consistently been opposed to trophy hunting, so the level of support for the government’s decision is not surprising,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Still, with so many residents who believe grizzlies should not be hunted at all, there is definitely appetite for more action.”
“With such strong results from British Columbians, we believe that the government can go further and ban all hunting of grizzly bears across the province,” says Tricia Stevens, Charitable Giving Manager at Lush Cosmetics. “Scientists, bear viewing operators, conservationists and now even hunters are agreeing it’s time to protect this iconic species for once and for all.”

Continue reading

Bears Matter: Pacific Wild Press Release,Government to Consult on Grizzly Bear Ban

Go to Pacific Wild’s FULL Press Release fr Oct 3, 2017 directly by clicking HERE

IanMcAllisterGrizzlies

British Columbians are being given the opportunity to provide input on new proposed grizzly bear regulations.
On Aug. 14, 2017, the B.C. government announced that effective Nov. 30, 2017 it will end trophy hunting of grizzly bears and stop all hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. The decision allows a residential hunt to continue.
Until Nov. 2, the public can provide input into two policy documents outlining the proposed regulation changes required to implement the ban.
As part of the consultation, input is being sought on:
Changes to manage the ban in hunting areas that overlap the Great Bear Rainforest;
Changes that will prohibit the possession of “trophy” grizzly bear parts;
Changes that will manage prohibited grizzly bear parts;
Changes to prohibit the trafficking of grizzly bear parts, and
New reporting requirements for taxidermists.
The two policy documents can be reviewed at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw
Members of the public may send comments to the Fish and Wildlife Branch at: grizzly.bear@gov.bc.ca  or for Template by clicking HERE

 

Bears Matter Invites YOU to SeaLegacy’s Campaign to Stop Grizzly Killing in B.C.!

The half-hearted grizzly hunting moratorium in B.C. is not enough. We need to end hunting of all grizzly bears, forever

NicklenGrizzlies

At SeaLegacy, we are not going to be sidetracked by the B.C. government’s half-hearted decision to put a 2018 moratorium on the grizzly bear hunt, and we will continue to rally support until the government takes the killing of these majestic bears seriously.
In a months’s time, from the close of 2017’s hunting season on November 30th, the government of British Columbia is claiming to have banned all hunting of grizzlies within the Great Bear Rainforest of the mid central coast. While we recognise this step in the right direction, they have left a gaping and unnecessary loophole that is bound to be exploited: grizzly bears can still be hunted for meat.

This move is a glaring attempt to stay true to their campaign promise while still allowing trophy hunters to kill apex predators in B.C.’s territory. The government claims there are approximately 15,000 grizzlies in B.C. and hunters kill about 250 every year.
Natural Resources Minister Doug Donaldson has stated, “Hunters will no longer be able to possess the hide or the head or the paws of the bear, so we feel quite confident that this announcement will mean the end of the grizzly bear trophy hunt through the province.”
At SeaLegacy we know these immense, solitary creatures are more fragile than most people believe, requiring 4,000 square kilometres each as territory.
They are an umbrella species whose health can help determine the health of an entire ecosystem. To hunt them is anything but noble, and we want to add our voice to the loud chorus of British Columbians and citizens of the world who understand their value beyond a hide on a wall or a meal on a plate. After a recent week of filming brown bears in Alaska, SeaLegacy co-founder Paul Nicklen recalled his time working with these great brown bears.

Read More, See Stunning Photos and Take Action by going to https://act.sealegacy.org/s/stop-the-trophy-hunt

Bears Matter Letter to Minister Doug Donaldson asking for Cancellation of the 2017 Fall Grizzly Trophy Hunt

bearsmatterlogo

August 6, 2017
Honourable Doug Donaldson
Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations
And Rural Development
Parliament Buildings Victoria, B.C. V8V 1X4

( Readers, Please find email addresses below of persons cc’ed on this letter for your reference)
Dear Minister Donaldson,
re: Cancellation of the 2017 Fall Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt
I am writing to you on behalf of thousands of concerned citizens of British Columbia, tourists and future tourists who sign our petitions, follow our Anti-Trophy Grizzly Hunt social media pages and write to us directly. I have owned and operated Bears Matter, a non-profit business, since 2006. As a bear advocate I have been concerned with the ethical issues surrounding the grizzly bear trophy hunt since your government’s three-year moratorium was overturned in July 2001 by the incoming Liberal government.
Bears Matter followers and myself are filled with hope and anticipation now that your party has returned to govern B.C. and believe that it is in no small part due to your promise to ‘Stop the Grizzly Killing’(note: facebook page with 45K+ followers).
We anxiously await your announcement that the Fall Trophy Grizzly Hunt will be cancelled, especially given the ongoing and devastating wildfire situation in this province. As you are well aware, the wildfires are compounding the stressors and habitat issues of all wildlife.
It has recently been reported in the media that your Ministry plans to consult with stakeholder groups before deciding on ending the hunt. We are wondering why such consultation is suggested when your government, and the Green Party, have already publicly declared to end the hunt? Please can you clarify this inference in the media and advise us of the status of this file if it is other than what your party promised during the May election campaign.
If any stakeholder consultations are to take place we, respectfully, request that it happen after the closure of the imminent 2017 Fall Grizzly Bear Hunt and the process would include non-consumptive and consumptive interest groups, including First Peoples.
Please do the right and only thing as soon as possible for our iconic, beloved Grizzlies and be confident that an overwhelming majority of British Columbians, individuals and jurisdictions around the world will herald your decision as a testament to your government’s mandate to uphold B.C.’s enlightened and progressive social justice values in this twenty-first century!
Respectfully,

Barbara Murray

On behalf of Bears Matter
(formerly of North Vancouver)
Nanoose Bay, B.C.
cc Premier Horgan; Minister Heyman (Environment); Minister Beare (Tourism); Minister Fraser (Indigenous Relations); Dr. Weaver, MLA; Adam Olsen, MLA; Sonia Furstenau, MLA; Michelle Stilwell, MLA; Gord Johns MP; Jane Thornthwaite, MLA; Ralph Sultan, MLA; Dr. Darryl Plecas, MLA

Barb Murray
Bears Matter
Facebook: Bears Matter; Stop the Grizzly Killing
Twitter: @bearsmatter @stopgrizzlykill
Instagram: @bearsmatter
www.bearsmatter.com

FLNR.Minister@gov; Premier@gov.bc.ca; ENV.minister@gov.bc.ca; Lisa.Beare.MLA@leg.bc.ca; ABR.Minister@gov.bc.ca; Andrew.Weaver.MLA@leg.bc.ca; Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca; Sonia.Furstenau.MLA@leg.bc.ca; Gord.Johns@parl.gc.ca; Darryl.Plecas.MLA@leg.bc.ca; Ralph.Sultan.MLA@leg.bc.ca; jane.thornthwaite.MLA@leg.bc.ca; Michelle.Stilwell.MLA@leg.bc.ca; Doug.Donaldson.MLA@leg.bc.ca