Tag Archives: anti-trophy hunting

Disserving the Public Trust, The Ethos of State Grizzly Bear Management

June 14, 2016  By David Mattson

Most people are familiar with the term worldview. In academe, scholars such as David Naugle (“Worldview”), Jim Sire (“Naming the Elephant”), and Mark Koltko-Rivera (“The Psychology of Worldviews”) have helpfully summarized the history of this pedigreed concept and its relevance to understanding the human condition. For me, worldview is central to understanding otherwise inexplicable human behaviors—including the verbiage that comes out of most peoples’ mouths.

What is a worldview? Intuitively, one could simply understand it as a “view of the world” that people carry around in their heads. But what does that mean? By all indications, worldview is the portal through which we make meaning of the overwhelming smoosh of sensory experience, which then dictates how we each orient to the world. Worldview is fundamentally semantical and semiotic in nature—configured and represented through internalized stories that we tell about the world and ourselves in it, saturated with emotion-laden icons and symbols. Worldview distills and integrates values, impulses, attractions, fears, and even terrors. Worldviews are typically illogical, incoherent, and resistant to change, largely because they are so intertwined with our identities and social networks. Worldviews are powerful stuff.

But worldviews are not some sort of concrete thing that we can unambiguously measure like we can, for example, the diameter of a tree. Nonetheless, because worldviews so powerfully configure what we say and do, it is actually quite easy to use any number of indices to build a reliable picture of this phenomenon for individuals or communities. Analysis of written texts is one approach. Analysis of repeatedly deployed symbols and images is another. And surveys that elicit peoples’ responses to carefully crafted questions are another yet. All of which is to say that social science does provide a box of tools that allows us to usefully describe worldviews.

Nature-views

Various scholars have gone even further to describe typologies by which we can categorize how people view the natural world and themselves in it—what I call “nature-views.” Academics such as Mike Manfredo and Tara Teel at Colorado State University came up with a relatively straight-forward system comprised of four categories or bins. Steve Kellert of Yale University came up with a more nuanced schematic comprised of between eight and nine categories (see his “Value of Life”). Whatever the typology, a major dimension consistently emerges along which most peoples’ nature-views can be arrayed. At one extreme is a view that nature—and animals therein—is/are to be dominated and used. At the other extreme is a view that emphasizes intimate, aesthetic, even anthropomorphic connections.

And, Again, Grizzly Bears

All of this is relevant to understanding what goes on with state-level management of our wildlife and, in turn, anticipating what will happen to Yellowstone’s grizzly bears if Endangered Species Act (ESA) protections are removed and the bears turned over to the tender mercies of state wildlife managers. And, likewise, relevant to understanding why these managers and the Commissioners who oversee them are frothing at the mouth to start trophy-hunting grizzlies once authority is surrendered to the states by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS)—the same people who are seemingly obsessed with power, control, and meting out death (see my essay on Divvying Up the Dead).

In my previous essay of this three-part series I emphasized governance problems in our current management of wildlife by the states, along with the extent to which this management is enslaved to a very narrow demographic (i.e., white guys) and an equally narrow set of special interests organized around hunting—which is to say, killing stuff. But here I emphasize the worldviews that inform the despotic and corrupt system I described.

And, just to be clear, none of what I say should be construed as an interest in doing away with hunting. That is not my intent or motivation. In fact, I’ve spent most of my professional career studying—and admiring—animals that kill stuff. But at the same time, I strongly believe that not all worldviews are equal, nor are the moral and ethical systems embedded in these worldviews equal. Some worldviews and the nature-views therein yield toxic results. Others do not. As simple as that, and to believe otherwise is to descend into a quagmire of relativism that is guaranteed to yield nasty outcomes for humanity.

Nature-views, Hunting, and Carnivores

So, what are the worldviews that motivate the dominant paradigm of wildlife management? A full description of these views would be overwhelming—and diverse they are—so instead I focus here on modalities, dominant themes if you will. The point being that those who are invested in and benefiting from status quo wildlife management adhere in varying degrees to a number of nature-views. But this does not negate the fact that some views are dominant, especially when it comes to driving how state wildlife agencies manage large carnivores including, potentially, our Yellowstone grizzly bears.

I’ll start with one particularly interesting research project that I supervised, undertaken by Liz Ruther, inquiring into peoples’ attitudes towards mountain lions, including their relevant behaviors. We asked a random sample of adults whether they would support various measures to protect or conserve mountain lions, including whether they would support a ban on killing juvenile lions, limit the killing of females, or support measures to conserve important lion habitat. On the behavior front, we asked whether they hunted, had killed a lion, or carried a firearm in the woods for protection—versus nothing at all or a non-lethal deterrent such as pepper spray. But of particular relevance here, we also asked people a number of questions designed to help us explain attitudes and behaviors. In particular, we asked questions that allowed us to score people on the basis of how strongly they adhered to a particular nature-view—among others, a belief in dominating and using nature.

To read more go to: https://www.counterpunch.org/2016/06/14/disserving-the-public-trust-the-ethos-of-state-grizzly-bear-management/

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
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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!

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

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/

 

Change.org Petition Update: Another Redneck Trophy Killer sponsored by Under Armour: Jessica Taylor Byers

Wife,Texan Dreamer                                                                                           Please take the Pledge at: https://www.change.org/p/boycott-under-armour-until-they-stop-killing-wildlife-take-the-pledge/u/20965492?recruiter=15838118&utm_source=share_update&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=share_twitter_responsive&utm_term=petition_update

Ban Trophy Hunting Pacific Palisades, CA

Remember, Under Armour makes all this possible. #BoycottUnderArmour and spread the word!

Jessica Taylor Byer’s Trophy Killer Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/followherarrow

Under Armour Hunt Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/UAHunt

 

CBC: Future of B.C.’s grizzly trophy hunt uncertain as fall hunt approaches

grizzly-bear-near-bella-coolaA grizzly bear is seen fishing for salmon along the Atnarko river in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park near Bella Coola, B.C. (Jonathan Hayward/The Canadian Press)http://www.cbc.ca/amp/1.4220550
NDP promised to end the controversial hunt, but few details on how and when the ban would be implemented  Roshini Nair – CBC News July 25, 2017

The NDP promised to end B.C.’s grizzly bear trophy hunt, but with the September hunt rapidly approaching there are few details to explain how or when that would happen.

B.C.’s grizzly bear trophy hunt allows both resident and non-resident hunters to purchase a licence to hunt a grizzly bear for sport according to a predetermined quota.

License cost varies according to whether the hunter is a B.C. resident ($80) or not ($1000). Non-residents are also required to employ a registered guide outfitter. The trophy hunt takes place in the spring and fall.

Last November, Premier John Horgan made a campaign promise he would end the controversial hunt, promising full protection for the “majestic animals.  “But with the hunt scheduled in September, the deadline to pass a ban is imminent.

Political flashpoint

The former Liberal government maintained the hunt has a positive economic impact — supporting local outfitters and tourist operations — and that the grizzly population is healthy enough to absorb the hunt.

Mark Werner, the vice-president of the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C., said the hunt is an important part of the province’s heritage. “This country and this province [were] built on trapping, hunting and fishing,” he said. “We have a lot of heritage here. We have a lot of culture here.”

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