Category Archives: Killing Grizzlies for Fun

Bryce Casavant Replies to BC Wildlife Federation’s Alan Martin

http://vancouversun.com/opinion/op-ed/opinion-finding-our-bearings-a-gentle-yet-grizzly-rebuttal

I recognize that this is a difficult time for trophy hunters in B.C. Change is never easy. However, this does not mean we invent alternative facts to support rhetoric. In his opinion piece published in The Vancouver Sun on Dec. 27, Alan Martin has made multiple factually incorrect assertions to support the continuance of grizzly bear hunting. In an effort to correct misinformation, I would like to point out the following:

First, a B.C.-based independent polling company (Insights West) conducted a public survey in 2015 which found that 91 per cent of British Columbians opposed the trophy hunting of grizzly bears.

Second, following the 2017 provincial election, the new government conducted a public consultation process between September and October. The purpose was to solicit comments from all British Columbians regarding the management of grizzly bears. Over 4,000 responses were recorded. Of these responses received by government, over 78 per cent opposed the continued hunting of grizzly bears.

Therefore, a factually correct presentation would be to state: “A public survey found that 91 per cent of British Columbians oppose the trophy hunting of grizzly bears. Additionally, following a public consultation process, some 4,000 comments were received by the government of B.C., of which over 78 per cent opposed the hunting of grizzly bears.”

From these two points, a general argument is made that the hunting of grizzly bears is no longer socially acceptable by broader B.C. society.

Third, the B.C. Auditor-General never stated that hunting was not a threat to grizzly bear sustainability. Although the AG recognized that habitat loss was the most critical factor affecting grizzly bear populations, in no way is that meant to infer that hunting grizzly bears is a sustainable practice. To infer such a contention is to gravely misrepresent the findings of the review. Overall, the Auditor-General found that serious improvements to grizzly bear management were required.

Martin cites a dictionary to define the term “populist” and argues that the new NDP government is simply siding with the flavour of the day in order to gain votes and political support. Respectfully, I disagree. What I would suggest instead is that we are witnessing a change in societal values. I further argue that this change has led the new government to consider social values, scientific arguments, and the recommendations made by the B.C. Auditor-General — that the most appropriate dictionary word to describe the recent policy decision is not “populist” but rather “responsible” and most certainly “rational”.

Environmental management should be governed by the values of our society. And to be sure, these values will change over time. While we use science, experience, history and knowledge to inform government policy direction, ultimately, it is the values of the society we live in that progress over time and changes the manner in which we are governed. Call it democracy.

Having said all this, I must admit, I agree with Martin on one point: Inclusive of urban expansion, habitat loss, rail and highway mortalities, dwindling salmon stocks, and conflicts with humans, the plight of B.C.’s grizzly bears is far from restricted to the actions of hunting alone. However, where we differ is that I see hunting as a cumulative effect to a species that is already under immense pressure to find a new home and food. We can control the cumulative effect of hunting with the simple action of not pulling the trigger — if we do shoot, use a camera and kill only time. Our trophies should be memories and pictures. The only thing left behind in the bush should be our footprints in the sand, not a bloody, skinless and headless carcass.

Bryce Casavant is a former B.C. Conservation Officer who made international headlines in 2015 when he refused to kill two bear cubs. He is currently a doctoral candidate at Royal Roads University, studying public trust and wildlife co-existence in B.C.

link to Letter in Vancouver Sun by Alan Martin of the B.C. Wildlife Federation

Opinion: Populism and grizzly bears

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

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