Category Archives: Newspaper Article

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

International trophy hunting organization accused of influencing vancouver sun poll on grizzly hunt

Link: https://www.facebook.com/StoptheGrizzlyKilling/

Not satisfied with killing animals around the globe, they’re trying to pressure BC to allow more Grizzlies to be senselessly slaughtered. American trophy killers trying to influence policy in our province. Enough is enough!
Read this article to learn more, and please share this far and wide.
We need people like you to protect BC’s Grizzlies. Please email the following newly elected representatives and let them know that BC residents STRONGLY disagree with Grizzly killing in any part of our province. Packing the meat out is an unacceptable loophole that will be easily exploited, and wealthy trophy killers will continue to slaughter our majestic Grizzly bears for kicks. Despicable!
Adam Olsen – Adam.olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca
Minister Doug Donaldson – FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca
Minister George Heyman – ENV.minister@gov.bc.ca
Premier John Horgan – Premier@gov.bc.ca
Andrew Weaver – Andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca
Sonia Furstenau (Green MLA) – Sonia.furstenau.MLA@leg.bc

Clayton Stoner

Aug 16, 2017 Vancouver Sun Article by Larry Pynn http://vancouversun.com/news/local-news/international-trophy-hunting-organization-accused-of-influencing-vancouver-sun-poll-on-grizzly-hunt

An international trophy-hunting organization is being criticized for trying to influence a Vancouver Sun online poll on the NDP government ban on the grizzly trophy hunt.
The 50,000-member, U.S.-based Safari Club International (SCI) has posted a tweet designed to rally its supporters, saying: “Your help is needed to support grizzly hunting! Click on this link and vote ‘NO’ at the end of the article!”

SccreenShotSCIAug'17 Screen Shot taken on Twitter by Bears Matter
The Sun’s poll asks: “Are you happy with the B.C. NDP’s plan to ban the grizzly trophy hunt?” It then asks readers to choose between one of two statements: “Yes — Killing bears for sport is senseless;” or “No — A lot of people depend on the hunt to make a living.”
As of Wednesday afternoon, the two positions were running pretty much neck-and-neck, whereas professionally conducted public opinion polls on the issue have shown overwhelming support for ending the hunt.
SCI also issued two news releases this week, arguing that “sustainable management of wildlife in British Columbia was sucker-punched” and accusing the government of “bowing to the bluster of anti-hunters” and ignoring “all sound science that supports a continuation of grizzly bear hunting in that province.”

On Monday, the NDP government made good on a high-profile election promise by announcing a B.C.-wide ban on trophy hunting of grizzly bears, while allowing hunting to continue for meat outside the Great Bear Rainforest.
Trish Boyum, a coastal ecotourism operator and strong advocate of ending the grizzly trophy hunt, urged SCI to butt out of B.C.’s affairs. “We in no way agree with Safari Club being involved in any decision making regarding wildlife in British Columbia,” she said. “This is what happens when we allow these kinds of people to have their way in our province.”

B.C. grizzly hunter calls new provincial ban wasteful, hurtful to local economies
Boyum noted that she is associated with the Facebook page, Stop the Grizzly Killing, boasting 46,000 followers. She isn’t urging them to respond to The Sun’s poll, which she considers poorly worded and unscientific.

 

Inside Namibian taxidermy factory stuffs 6,000 animals a year for trophy hunters

Mold of Elephant headMold of an Elephant Head

Is this what’s in store for Cecil? Inside the Namibian taxidermy factory which stuffs more than 6,000 animals a year for trophy hunters.
-Elephants are €38,000 (£27,000) to stuff, giraffes €8,500 (£6,000), leopards €1,800 (£1,300), rhinos €14,000 (£10,000)
-Every week dozens of white foreigners, mainly wealthy Germans and Americans, hunt at private game reserves
-Taxidermy is legal in Namibia and, ‘if you have enough money, you can usually shoot what you want’ says one guide

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3178868/Inside-Namibian-taxidermy-factory-stuffs-6-000-animals-year-trophy-hunters.html#ixzz4pCmtE3Ev
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Bears Matter note Aug 8,2017:  I wonder how many ‘game’ animals are stuffed in British Columbia! Hunter’s who hunt for food to put in the freezer don’t spend the big bucks to have an animal stuffed! Trophy killing is all about the trophy, don’t let anyone try and rationalize it any other way!
One day taxidermy will be a lost ‘art’… animal models will be replicated by computers instead and using non animal materials. One day soon I hope!

Kamloops This Week: BC Liberal MLA Plecas confirms that he threatened to quit party if Clark stayed leader & his Opposition to the Grizzly Trophy Hunt

By Kamloops This Week – August 4, 2017  http://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/bc-liberal-mla-plecas-confirms-threatened-quit-party-clark-stayed-leader/

plecas-interview-640x352 Abbotsford-South MLA Darryl Plecas was asked to be speaker by representatives of the NDP and Green Party. Photo: Tyler Olsen/Abbotsford News by Tyler Olsen/ Abbotsford News.

See Bolded Text below for MLA Darryl Plecas statement to Ban the Trophy Hunt of Grizzlies.

Abbotsford South MLA Darryl Plecas confirmed Friday that he threatened to quit the BC Liberals in July if Christy Clark stayed on as leader. Plecas told The News that Clark and her leadership team’s “top-down, small-circle” style and unwillingness to make decisions that might cost the party votes prompted his ultimatum, which took place at caucus retreat in Penticton shortly before the Premier announced her resignation.

Plecas said that it was clear Clark had no intention of stepping down before he made his declaration in Penticton.
“I disagreed with the leadership, I wanted to see change and I wanted to make my point very forcefully because anyone who’s familiar with the history of the current leadership, there was no chance she was ever going to resign,” he said.
Plecas said he felt Clark and her political staff didn’t listen enough, weren’t willing to let politicians speak their minds, and should have used B.C.’s surpluses to address social concerns in the province.
Plecas was first elected to the provincial legislature in 2013. A prominent criminologist, Plecas was considered a star candidate when he first ran for office. But although he led a panel on crime reduction in 2014, Plecas was never appointed to cabinet, holding only a pair of lesser parliamentary secretary positions.
He said his inability to have his voice heard, rather than any desire to hold a cabinet position, was his chief frustration with his first term in office.
“People need to have the opportunity to say what they really think,” he said. “What is the point of having somebody represent a local area, if you can’t speak freely about what you think the concerns are in your area?”
Plecas said that without a leader and leadership staff willing to listen, “it’s going to be the same old top-down, everybody’s told what to do. I think that’s what concerns the average citizen when they say, ‘What difference does it make, nobody’s listening anyway.’ Well, there is some truth to that, and we need to get past that.”
In an extended interview with The News, Plecas spoke at length about the BC Liberal leadership he served under and suggested decisions were often made with political calculations front-of-mind.
“When people think of a leader, one of the things that comes to mind in politics is ‘We need someone who can win.’ Well, yeah, but for me that’s secondary to the right person, because … it’s not just about having the leader win, it’s about having people win in every one of their constituencies and doing the right thing. And that’s hard. You can do things for a political reason, or you can do things for the right reason, and you have to have a moral compass and a guide that says, you know, what’s most important is always trying to do the right thing. And that’s not always easy and that’s not realistic to expect somebody’s going to be able to do that every single time, but you definitely have to have that as your guidepost, and you definitely have to have a leader who expects just that from every other elected person in the party and the people who work.”
Having such a leader, he said, “is going to result in a very different kind of way of doing business.”
Asked if the previous leadership had that guidepost he referenced, Plecas said:
“Not for me they didn’t.”
Plecas said most voters want officials to govern and try to appeal to the entire swath of voters, rather than a party base.
“We pride ourselves in being a big tent, but operate like we’re in a pup tent,” he said. “If you want to appeal to people, what better way to go about it than to say, look, deep in our bones we’re going to try to accommodate every single interest and be truly mindful of issues across the board, rather than a sort-of very strict perspective on things.”

The interview wasn’t the first time recently Plecas has suggested in public that his party needs to head in a new direction. On election day, he told supporters that the BC Liberals needed to be more “humble” and had to find ways to help the less fortunate. He reiterated that Friday. “We have had a mindset that has not been especially helpful to the social side of things,” he said. “You can’t have $6 billion of surpluses and not be doing things for people in need. To me, that’s not a stretch to do that.”
He said that could have won more support, but that that’s not why decisions should be made.
“I don’t want it to sound like I’m saying that it’s all about winning and all about support because first and foremost I think anyone who’s elected to office has to say, ‘I’m here to do the right thing. That’s the very first thing. I’m here to be as open and truthful as possible. I’m here to examine issues in a very evidenced-based way.’”
He said individual biases and viewpoints will influence decisions, “but that’s a very different thing than saying, ‘We need to win, we need to be in government, we need to do whatever it takes to do that.’”
Plecas gave as an example the BC Liberals refusal to ban trophy hunting in the province.
“In my mind, trophy hunting is fundamentally wrong. Like, it is wrong to kill an innocent animal simply so you can put its head on the wall. So, I don’t need to hear about all the political ramifications for that. I say, OK, there’s a collection of people out there whose livelihoods are affected by that. For me the question becomes, OK, how do we do this in a manner that minimizes the negative impact on that.”
Asked if the political ramifications determined the policy, Plecas said, “Let me just say, we ended up not supporting a ban, and you know, Adam Olsen from the Greens has proposed a ban … Well I want to be able to stand up and say, you know what, I agree with Adam Olsen.
“I don’t believe for a minute that most of my constituents believe that it’s OK to shoot a bear just because you want to put its head on the wall. We’re not against hunting [for food], but when you start constructing a response that says there could be some political ramifications we could lose votes – because you could lose votes – then I’m saying, lose those votes, but do the right thing.”
He said he’s made his views known in the past both to colleagues and the leadership about his need to speak his mind but that, “Things being what they are, that doesn’t work

Read more: http://www.kamloopsthisweek.com/bc-liberal-mla-plecas-confirms-threatened-quit-party-clark-stayed-leader/