Category Archives: Letter to Government

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

BC Govt Plans a New Independent Wildlife Agency Managed by Guide Outfitters, Trophy Hunters, Trappers- Valhalla Wilderness Society

VWSGrizzlyphoto

Valhalla Wilderness Society

Box 329, New Denver, British Columbia, Canada V0G 1S0
Phone: (250) 358-2333, Fax: (250) 358-2748, E-mail: vws@vws.org, Web: http://www.vws.org
18 May 2017
Call for action
BC Government wants to establish a new independent wildlife agency
managed by hunters, trappers and guide outfitters Valhalla Wilderness Society was appalled when the BC government announced in late March that it intends to establish a new independent wildlife agency (https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017FLNR0037-000783 ) “as part of its long-standing commitment to healthy wildlife populations.” The proposed “independent” agency is a thinly disguised attempt by the BC government to privatize wildlife management. Equally concerning and outrageous is that this agency was cooked up with at least the following 5 organizations, the BC Wildlife Federation, the BC Guide Outfitters Association, the BC Trappers Association, the Wild Sheep Society of BC and the Wildlife Stewardship Council with whom the BC government has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU). These organizations whose members include hunters, trappers and guide outfitters who guide (trophy) hunters fully support the proposed agency whose mandate appears ironically to be “the growth of wildlife in British Columbia.”

At the announcement, Bill Bennett, then MLA East Kootenay and Minister of Mines and Energy,
explained the need for a new agency as follows: “Government is afraid to manage wolves, for example,are afraid to manage grizzly bears in some cases because of the politics of that. Hopefully, an agency that is separate from government can make decisions that are in the best long-term interest of wildlife and just forget about the politics and do what is best for the animals.”

http://www.summit107.com/news/east-kootenay-news/new-independent-wildlife-group-to-takeover-

bc-government-operations/. Bill Bennett has left BC enough of a devastating legacy with the
Mount Polley mine tailing pond failure which continues to pollute Quesnel Lake.
2
The past president of the BC Wildlife Federation welcomed the announcement of the proposed agency by stating: “I think it’ll put more positive aspect into managing wildlife and getting away from the precautionary principles and get back to real numbers and managing wildlife the way it should be.” The government press release reports that the proposed agency will be funded with start-up funds of $5 million but “subsequently would be supported by hunting licence revenues of $9 million to $10 million each year.”
Valhalla Wilderness Society calls on all members to express their opposition to this outrageous scheme to not only privatize wildlife management in BC but to place it in the hands of hunters, trappers and guide outfitters. Notwithstanding the poor job the BC government has been doing in terms of “growing wildlife”, wildlife should be managed by government. The above-mentioned special interest groups lack the technical expertise to make wildlife decisions based on scientific evidence and are even unwilling to apply the precautionary principle, which- in the face of climate change -, is needed more than ever. The proposed agency can not be held accountable to the public like an elected government, especially as agency members will no doubt be gagged by mandatory confidentiality agreements. Nor can it be bound by the domestic and international legal obligations, such as the Canada-BC Species at Risk Agreement, that bind the Province directly or indirectly through the federal government`s signing of international legal treaties.
The proposed agency does not represent the majority of British Columbians and the fake “public
consultation” process that the BC government has set aside $200,000 for when the mandate,
stakeholders and funding have already been decided is an utter waste of tax payers’ money. Wild
management should not be reduced to the management of species which hunters, trappers and guide outfitters’ clients like to kill: a broad ecosystem approach is needed to ensure that BC’s “wildlife grows” and their habitat is protected. Last but not least, funding for wildlife management should not be contingent on hunting license revenue or on other funding from special interest groups. Please take the time to email John Horgan, leader of the NDP, Andrew Weaver, leader of the BC Green Party, and Christy Clark, leader of the BC Liberals, demanding that:
 this proposed agency be shelved and the MOU terminated with immediate effect. Wildlife
management must remain the responsibility of the BC government;
 all wildlife management decisions by government must be made on the basis of scientific evidence guided by the precautionary principle and on a broad ecosystem level, which would automatically remove politics from the decision-making process the $200,000 set aside for so-called “public” consultation on this proposed agency whose establishment has been set in motion by special interest groups be used for restoration of mountain caribou habitat;
documents and meeting minutes with the above-mentioned organizations and others involved in
the establishment of this proposed agency be immediately released to the public.
3

Contact details:
John Horgan, NDP Party leader
Room 201, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4
Tel: 250 387-3655
Email: oppositionleader@leg.bc.ca
Andrew Weaver, Green Party leader and MLA
Room 027C, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4
Tel: 250-387-8347
Email: andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca
Christy Clark, BC Liberal leader
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC, V8V 1X4
Tel: 250-387-1715
Email: Christy.clark.mla@leg.bc.ca

Grizzly Bear Hunt Should be an Election Issue, Times Colonist July 3,2016

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/search-results-7.2864?q=grizzly+hunt+should+be+election+issue

Letter to the Editor: Grizzly bear hunt should be an election issue by Val Murray and Barb Murray  July 3, 2017

The trophy killing of grizzly bears is an embarrassment to B.C. It hurts us all, environmentally, morally and economically. It should be stopped.

Thousands of tourists are drawn to grizzly bear-viewing that is now worth up to 10 times more than grizzly hunting in the province. The Commercial Bear Viewing Association reports more than 60 bear-viewing operations in B.C. that are at, or close to, capacity because of their inability to expand into hunted populations.

Increasingly, international travel agents will not send clients to B.C. lodges where grizzly hunting is also supported, and ecotourists are often dismayed that B.C. grizzlies can still legally be killed twice a year. This mixed message can’t help but tarnish B.C.’s branding as a natural wilderness destination, and it jeopardizes millions of dollars in bear-viewing income.

Grizzlies that are hunted become wary and fearful, thus more difficult to view in their natural settings. And the truth is, all grizzly hunting is really trophy hunting.

The consensus is that grizzly meat is unhealthy with bacteria, is distasteful and is only good for heavily spiced jerky, sausage or pepperoni. Bears are generally hunted for their heads, paws and hides, leaving behind an eerily humanoid carcass; a travesty.

The auditor general’s investigation into B.C.’s approach to grizzly-bear management is timely. Estimates of grizzly bear populations are speculative at best, ranging from 6,000 (conservation science) to 15,000 (government science). That’s a huge gap in number models.

B.C. does not have a stand-alone law to protect species and ecosystems at risk. Grizzly bears are already blue-listed in B.C. and are, according to the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, a species of special concern, due to their extreme sensitivity to human intrusion. These bears are wide-ranging omnivores that require widely varied habitats and clear movement corridors in order to forage and find suitable mates.

Habitat loss and fragmentation pose large threats to their viability, but it is human hunting, poaching and conflict kills that are major causes of mortality. Female bears are mistakenly killed at least 30 per cent of the time and a female bear killed in the spring hunt might leave tiny cubs to perish. True bear mortality rates might be much higher than reported.

Grizzly bears are a keystone species that entire ecosystems depend upon for spreading seeds and nutrients throughout their entire range. They have one of the lowest reproductive rates of all North American land mammals, and populations are slow to recover when numbers fall. They have been eliminated from about half of their historical range since the mid-1800s and their largest population now is here in B.C.

Yet each year, the B.C. government sells about 1,800 trophy-hunting licences, and each year, about 300 grizzlies are killed within this system.

The government states that bear viewing and bear killing can co-exist because there are “enough” grizzlies to go around. It’s just not so. For one thing, grizzly viewing has to shut down in locations where grizzly killing is occurring.

In the past 10 years, research into the behaviour and biology of this remarkable species has proliferated through the dedicated efforts of conservation and First Nations groups. This highly intelligent, individualistic bear is believed by some biologists to have an intelligence on par with primates. What value system could possibly justify killing them, based on any numbers, even if those numbers were accurate?

The developed world is becoming savvy to ecological justice — killing bears for sport is an anachronism.

Why does the B.C. government continue to approve the trophy hunt of grizzly bears when it is less economically viable than viewing, violates First Nations law, is contrary to the values of most B.C. citizens and is an unethical action toward a sentient creature?

The answer is elusive: vested interests, lobbying influence, a frontier outlook on human-animal relations or an emotionally charged issue that politicians, and some citizens, might be loath to wade into.

Grizzly killing happens out of view for most of us, but we should all care.

We pledge to do everything we can to raise the grizzly hunt high on political platforms leading up to the 2017 provincial election.

Val Murray of Victoria and Barb Murray of Nanoose Bay, both retired from educational roles, are full-time bear advocates. For more information, go to justiceforbcgrizzlies.com.

Join our letter-writing campaign …

Letters from concerned citizens to politicians, editors or other stakeholders really do get noticed. They can be emailed, so there are lots of them clogging inboxes, or they can be sent surface mail. You can keep it short, e.g.:

I am a concerned citizen of voting age who is appalled that Grizzly Bears are killed in BC. I want it to stop. It cannot be justified on any basis whatsoever.

If you want to add more to your letter, feel free to draw on this Op-ed piece written by Val and Barb, printed in the Times Colonist, Victoria, July 3/16.

** PLEASE CC justiceforbcgrizzlies@telus.net on each letter that you email or send so that we can track our “concerned citizens” and their actions. All information will be kept strictly confidential. Thank you so much! **

~~ We will stay in touch and keep you informed ~~

Some addresses and emails for politicians below:

Honourable Christy Clark, Premier
West Annex – Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
V8V 1X4
premier@gov.bc.ca

Mr. John Horgan
Leader, New Democrat Official Opposition
Room 201 – Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
V8V 1X4
john.horgan.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Honourable Shirley Bond
Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training
Room 138 – Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
V8V 1X4
shirley.bond.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Honourable Steve Thomson
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations
Room 248 – Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
V8V 1X4
steve.thomson.MLA@leg.bc.ca

Andrew Weaver, MLA
219 – 3930 Shelbourne St.
Victoria, BC
V8P 5P6
andrew.weaver.MLA@leg.bc.ca

 

 

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.

Continue reading

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.

Continue reading

Michelle Stilwell MLA Parksville-Qualicum Responds to Kill Order of Newborn Cubs by COS and Suspension of Officer Bryce Casavant

From: Barb Murray <bearsmatter@shaw.ca>
Date: 15 July, 2015 11:03:20 PM PDT
To: “<michelle.stilwell.mla@leg.bc.ca>Cc: Jane Thornthwaite MLA <jane.thornthwaite.mla@leg.bc.ca>
Subject: Successful Interventions by previous Ministers/Premier in wrong minded COS cub killing policy

Dear Ms. Stilwell,

After your response to me I would like to share with you some background and the real possibility of a reprieve for the two orphan cubs in Errington and for other orphaned cubs across  BC. It appears you may not have been briefed fully by the COS or your support staff.

Continue reading