Tag Archives: BC Guide Outfitters Association

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

BC Bungled Grizzly Bear Management: Auditor General Report by Judith Lavoie

Oct24'17Desmog

https://www.desmog.ca/2017/10/24/b-c-bungled-grizzly-bear-management-auditor-general

A muddled mess of plans that were never implemented, unclear accountability, lack of organized monitoring and spotty oversight has been at the root of the provincial government’s management of grizzly bear populations for more than two decades, Auditor General Carol Bellringer found in a highly critical report released Tuesday.
The report confirms many of the concerns frequently raised by conservation groups.  A lack of firm population numbers. Resource extraction in grizzly bear habitat. Lax regulation of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.
“This is a scathing indictment of the poor management of grizzly bears by successive B.C. governments, going back decades,” said Faisal Moola, director of the David Suzuki Foundation, which requested an audit in 2014 along with University of Victoria’s Environmental Law Centre.
To understand where things went wrong, we’ve got to rewind to 1995 when the government committed to a “Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy” with a goal to maintain healthy grizzly bear populations and the ecosystems they depend on.
But the Environment Ministry and Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources never clarified responsibilities and priorities in terms of actually implementing the strategy.
“Currently, there is no organized inventory and limited monitoring of grizzly bears. We found that one of the reasons this work is not being carried out is that there is no dedicated ministry funding,” says the report.

In other cases, government created plans, such as the strategy for recovering the endangered North Cascades grizzly population, but plans were never implemented.
“In many cases they have not developed policies and procedures necessary to ensure the survival of grizzly bear populations and, when they have had plans, they have failed to effectively implement them,” Moola said.
Government figures estimate there are now 15,000 grizzly bears in B.C. — one of the last areas in North America where grizzly bears live in their natural habitat. But that figure is questioned by some scientists — and nine of the province’s grizzly bear populations are on the verge of elimination.
A century ago, 35,000 grizzly bears lived in B.C, while other populations flourished from Alaska to Mexico to Manitoba, according to the Suzuki Foundation.
Some populations of bears have increased, Bellringer noted, but that is not the result of management strategies.
Habitat Destruction Key Threat to Grizzly Bears
Despite the public controversy that has raged around the grizzly bear trophy hunt, with 250 to 300 bears killed every year, the greatest threat is not hunting, but human activities that degrade grizzly bear habitat, Bellringer wrote.
“For example, there are 600,000 kilometres of resource roads with, on the order of 10,000 kilometres more added each year. This expansion allows greater human access into wilderness areas, which results in illegal killing of grizzly bears and greater human-bear conflicts,” she wrote.
Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations Minister Doug Donaldson and Environment Minister George Heyman said the government is accepting all 10 recommendations in the report and will develop a grizzly bear management plan with clear objectives, roles, responsibilities and accountabilities.
The recommendations include improvements in monitoring populations and threats, developing an adequately funded inventory of bears, increased transparency, ensuring the Conservation Officer Service has enough resources to respond to grizzly/human conflicts, developing clear policies and procedures for bear viewing, mitigating the effect of industry on bear habitat, adjusting tools needed to conserve habitat and reviewing wildlife management in B.C.
Some Areas Need to be ‘Off Limits’ To Industry to Protect Habitat

Read More at https://www.desmog.ca/2017/10/24/b-c-bungled-grizzly-bear-management-auditor-general

 

 

Deadline for Input Nov 2, 2017 on Grizz Hunt in BC!

How do you prefer your grizzly?

Stop the grizzly killing facebook page
Published · 17 hrs
BC’s Grizzlies need you!
Are you outraged over BC’s Grizzly Meat loophole? Then make your voice heard. Please join this event and share it far and wide:
https://www.facebook.com/events/481563502223788/
The Grizzlies need you to send a message to the email addresses below TODAY and tell them what you think of the proposed Grizzly ‘Meat’ Hunt!
Send comments to:
grizzly.bear@gov.bc.ca
Please Cc the following:
premier@gov.bc.ca
flnr.minister@gov.bc.ca
env.minister@gov.bc.ca
tristan.jones@gov.bc.ca
rich.coleman.mla@leg.bc.ca
andrew.weaver.mla@leg.bc.ca
To find a BC MLA go to: https://www.leg.bc.ca/learn-about-us/members
Tell the govt that they need to extend the ban on hunting grizzlies to all of B.C., not just in the Great Bear Rainforest! Alberta instituted a province wide ban in 2006, we can do it too. No meat pack-out, no loopholes.
Deadline for public input is Nov 2, 2017 so please don’t wait! Email them today and be sure your representatives know how important this issue is to you. We know they are listening, now we need to keep the pressure on. Please help!
For more information, please read this Open Letter to Govt from 44 Wildlife Conservation Groups & Individuals:https://tinyurl.com/Grizzly-Meat-Hunt-a-Disguise

 

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

 

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