Tag Archives: co-existence

Meet The First Justice for BC Grizzlies’ Ambassadors

Mary-Sue, Grizzly Ambassador, holding a salmon award

As a North Vancouver mother of 3, I love our beautiful natural environment in British Columbia. Our magnificent grizzly bears are an iconic species and tourists from around the world come here for the opportunity to view them in the wild. We in B.C. host some of North America’s last remaining places where large predators and their prey play out their millennia-old roles. Grizzlies are an important “umbrella” species. Landscapes that support healthy Grizzly bear populations will be able to sustain many other species. Grizzly bears play a key role in maintaining healthy ecosystems by distributing salmon nutrients into forests and transporting seeds. They are an important part of the culture of First Nations People living in B.C. I personally love and respect our grizzly bears and the barbaric practice of trophy hunting must end. I was chosen to be an Olympic torchbearer in the 2010 Winter Olympics for my volunteer stewardship of wild salmon and their ecosystems for over 20 years. I am so proud to be a Canadian and a British Columbian. But I, and over 91% of my fellow British Columbians, are not proud of our trophy hunt, are disgusted by it and want it to stop. Now is the time to listen to the public who share my values. I want our children and their children to be able to view majestic grizzlies in the wild. The hunt is not sustainable : economically, socially, environmentally or morally. Please join me and speak for the grizzlies!   Mary-Sue Atkinson, North Vancouver

Jacequeline as Ambassador
Jacqueline, Grizzly Ambassador – Momma Grizzly resting in the Khutzemateen, B.C.

Growing up, my parents had a hobby farm with a variety of farm animals. We loved them all like pets and we did everything possible to make sure they were healthy and safe. I’ve never known anything in my life but to care deeply for animals. Watching the local news one evening in 2013, I learned about the BC trophy hunt and how a hockey player had killed a grizzly bear and then proudly posed for photos with its bloody severed head and paws. I was disgusted and horrified. I thought that trophy hunting was something that was going on somewhere else in the world. I didn’t imagine that in Canada, in my home province of BC, it was actually legal to kill these beautiful animals for no reason other than to have their head or hide. I wanted to help the bears and I made a pact with myself to become active in the effort to end this archaic practice. Over the last several years, I’ve met and aligned myself with many others who also want to see the trophy hunt ended. I’ve signed many petitions, written letters to our leaders, written letters to newspapers, and I talk to everyone I can about this issue in order to bring it to the forefront. I have only ever met one or two people who don’t think trophy killing is wrong, most people agree right away that it is reprehensible and should be ended. I agree and believe that ending it is the morally right thing to do.  Jacqueline Hohmann, Surrey

Craig as Ambassador
Craig is a Grizzly Ambassador

I can imagine a day when there is a parade in front of the Provincial Legislature when the last grizzly bear has been shot and the people demonstrating will in fact be mourning that this keystone species so fundamental to the ecology of the Province’s forests no longer roams the wild areas. People will say, ‘How could that have happened? Why did the government not stop the hunting of these animals when they knew there was no economic, social, environmental or moral reason to sanction their mindless slaughter?’ I can also imagine a parade in front of the Provincial Legislature when the last grizzly bear has been shot and the people will be celebrating because hunting of this apex predator has been stopped. We will cheer that the will of the people has been heard and grizzly bears will continue to honour us with their presence. My name is Craig Smith and I believe we have the power to choose the future of the grizzly bear. Craig Smith, Richmond

Natural Liberty; Grizzlies Deserve the Right to Live…..Blog by Justice for BC Grizzlies

Someone commented to me recently, “Bears haven’t changed one bit. It’s people that have changed. Bears are still doing what bears have done for thousands of years”. It’s so true.

Wild animals are essentially ownerless in their natural settings. But from early days when nobility and settler groups assumed land title, they also laid claim to all that lived upon those lands. This essentially continues today in the form of provincial authority over Crown lands, which lumps wildlife in with oil, gas, trees, minerals; every form of “resource” extraction.

Consider these observations:

The majority of BC residents are opposed to trophy hunting of Grizzly Bears. Yet other than a short, four-month moratorium on grizzly hunting by the NDP government in 2001, trophy hunting has continued in BC. The government is assumed to hold Crown* land “in public trust” for present and future generations but clearly does not have social license to kill grizzlies. It may even be considered a violation of public trust.

* It must be noted that ~ 95% of the land base in BC is unceded territories of First Nations who take issue with the concept of Crown lands.

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Animal law is a field of legal practice that is still young and growing. Few lawyers represent the interests of animals but those who do, do so because they believe that sentient beings deserve their natural liberty and are not property or “chattel”.

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The now famous CREST (The Center for Responsible Travel) report of 2014 assessed bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest at 12 times more profitable than bear (trophy) hunting. Grizzlies more than “earn their keep” in the province.

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All of which lines up on the side of leaving grizzlies in peace to do what they have done for thousands of years.

It’s no stretch to call it an evolutionary impulse, this desire to see animals live in peace. And now is the time. A different attitude exists today than in 1888, for instance, when a black bear cub on Stanley Park grounds was chained to a stump and became the first inhabitant of the zoo. That was acceptable then, as was the donation of four Arctic polar bears to the zoo by the Hudson’s Bay Company in 1962. That simply could not be done in BC today without an activist movement opposing it. And that’s how it should be.

In 2016, it’s justice for Grizzly Bears to have their natural liberty; to eat, play, rest and lumber freely on their home ranges.

Taken from https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com July 7, 2016

NHL’s Clayton Stoner to Enter Plea for the possible Illegal Killing of a Grizzly

Stoner & Cheeky Photo  

                             Event: Friday, November 13 at 9am to 10am.

            Location: Robson Square Prov Court, 800 Hornby St., Vancouver

The Public is welcome to attend court to hear Clayton Stoner’s plea in the case of the illegal killing of a Grizzly. Hope to see many concerned citizens come out for this important case seeking ‘justice for a grizzly’ and seeking ‘ justice for all grizzly bears in BC.  Pls go to link: https://www.facebook.com/events/913737082039717/

Times Colonist Editorial: Bear Killings are a Moral Issue

When he refused to kill two orphaned bear cubs, B.C. conservation officer Bryce Casavant put his career on the line. But he also sparked a needed debate about the morality of killing “problem” animals.

The incident that triggered this controversy occurred near Port Hardy three weeks ago, after the mother of the cubs was shot for raiding a freezer. Despite being ordered to destroy the eight-week-olds, Casavant took them to a local animal shelter for treatment.

For this act of human decency, Casavant was suspended. He remains at home while the Environment Ministry, where he works, conducts an assessment of his actions.

Continue reading

Trophy hunters decimate bears in BC Valley under “abysmal” policy. Abe Dougan only Bear Guide in the Upper Pitt!

First in a series investigating B.C.’s trophy hunt. As public servants and their critics debate the justifications of the hunt, we start with a story of bears caught in the political crossfire. by Claire Hume Jan 15th, 2015

 

Abe Dougan, hunting guide with Big Boar Outfitters, and a dead black bear. Image sourced from Bigboaroutfitters.com

Abe Dougan, hunting guide with Big Boar Outfitters, and a dead black bear. Image sourced from Bigboaroutfitters.com

The Pitt River community is small. There is a muddy logging camp, a fishing lodge, a few private homes. The area, 60 kilometres from Vancouver, is so wild it is often compared to Alaska by visiting anglers. 

The area is inaccessible by road: getting there requires an hour-long boat trip to the mouth of the Upper Pitt River. Even this is a slow route that requires navigating the fallen trees that float ominously below the surface.

Until recently, grizzlies and black bears have thrived against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains, steep rocky cliffs, and rushing water, feasting on the seasonal runs of sockeye, coho and chinook salmon.

Here in this quiet valley, the failures of one of B.C.’s most controversial wildlife policies come into sharp focus. The management of bears has long been contentious, but the provincial government argues the species can withstand the pressure brought by foreign hunters.

But the apparent eradication of bears in the Pitt River Valley by a single guide, hunting within his legal limit, suggests otherwise.

This series examines the background forces shaping environmental management in B.C. As public servants and their critics debate, we start with a story of bears caught in the political crossfire.

Bears once a common sight in Pitt River Valley

read more: http://www.vancouverobserver.com/news/trophy-hunters-decimate-bears-bc-valley-under-abysmal-policy?page=0,0 

Bears Matter Note: Please go to my Petition Site http://bearmatters.com/petition-to-ban-trophy-killing-of-grizzlies/  to learn more about Trophy Hunting of Grizzlies and Black Bears in BC.  After reading this article please write letters to the editor of your local newspapers, write MLA’s, write Premier Clark and share this particular story with as many people as possible. If the gov’t can’t manage our black bears how can we trust them to manage our ‘threatened’ grizzlies? Also you can ‘Like’ facebook page ‘Stop the Grizzly Killing’ and share.  Thank you  Barb at Bears Matter

 

Opinion: B.C. government wants grizzly bears dead

Province could buy out hunting tenures and create world’s largest reserve

By Chris Genovali, Special to the Vancouver Sun April 14, 2014
A grizzly bear feeds along a river in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park near Bella Coola.  Photograph by: Jonathan Hayward , THE CANADIAN PRESS

A grizzly bear feeds along a river in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park near Bella Coola. Photograph by: Jonathan Hayward , THE CANADIAN PRESS

We want these bears dead. This is the message the B.C. government’s “reallocation policy” sends to the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, to British Columbians, and to the world.

This policy also prevents the implementation of an innovative solution to end the commercial trophy hunting of grizzlies and other large carnivores throughout the Great Bear Rainforest.

With the mismanaged, and some would say depraved, B.C. grizzly bear hunt having commenced this month, the controversy surrounding the recreational killing of these iconic animals is spiking once again.

A hard-won Raincoast-led moratorium on grizzly hunting in B.C. was overturned in 2001 by Gordon Campbell’s newly elected Liberal government with no justification other than serving as an obvious sop to the trophy hunting lobby. So, what was supposed to be a three-year provincewide ban was revoked after one spring hunting season. Raincoast, recognizing the then-new premier’s mulish intractability on this issue, decided to take a different approach.

Raincoast raised $1.3 million in 2005 to purchase the commercial trophy hunting rights across 24,700 square kilometres of the Great Bear Rainforest. Raincoast purchased an additional 3,500 square kilometres in 2012, including nearly all the habitat of the spirit bear (despite a restriction on killing spirit bears, trophy hunting of black bears that carry the recessive gene that causes the white coat is allowed). The sellers of these hunting tenures received a fair price, bears were safeguarded, and ecotourism prospered, including within coastal First Nations communities.

The province has countered by instituting a so-called reallocation policy (a.k.a. the Raincoast policy), whereby unused (not killed) grizzly bear “quota” would be stripped from Raincoast’s commercial tenures and allocated to resident hunters (B.C. residents who do not require a licensed hunting guide by law).

Bereft of any legitimate argument to justify the recreational killing of grizzlies, provincial wildlife managers stand naked in front of an increasingly disgusted and disapproving public, their blatant cronyism on behalf of the trophy hunting lobby exposed for all to see.

The ecological argument is clear: killing bears for “management” purposes is unnecessary and scientifically unsound. Although attempts are made to dress the province’s motivations in the trappings of proverbial “sound science,” they are clearly driven by an anachronistic ideology that is disconcertingly fixated on killing as a legitimate and necessary tool of wildlife management.

Dr. Paul Paquet, senior scientist at Raincoast and co-author of a recently published peer-reviewed paper on B.C. bear management, states: “We analyzed only some of the uncertainty associated with grizzly management and found it was likely contributing to widespread overkills. I’m not sure how the government defines sound science, but an approach that carelessly leads to widespread overkills is less than scientifically credible.”

The ethical argument is clear: gratuitous killing for recreation and amusement is unacceptable and immoral. Polling shows that nine of 10 British Columbians agree, from rural residents (including many hunters) to city dwellers. In their 2009 publication, The Ethics of Hunting, Drs. Michael Nelson and Kelly Millenbah state if wildlife managers began “to take philosophy and ethics more seriously, both as a realm of expertise that can be acquired and as a critical dimension of wildlife conservation, many elements of wildlife conservation and management would look different.”

The economic argument is clear. Recent research by Stanford University identifies that bear-viewing supports 10 times more employment, tourist spending, and government revenue than trophy hunting within the Great Bear Rainforest. Notably, the Stanford study suggests the revenue generated by fees and licences affiliated with the trophy killing of grizzlies fails to cover the cost of the province’s management of the hunt. As a result, B.C. taxpayers, most of whom oppose the hunt according to poll after poll, are in essence forced to subsidize the trophy killing of grizzlies.

What remains unknown is why the B.C. government so desperately wants these bears dead.

Raincoast stands ready to raise the funds to acquire the remaining commercial hunting tenures in the Great Bear Rainforest, a mutually beneficial solution that guide outfitters have indicated they will not oppose. Although the province, at its political peril, has failed to recognize it, Coastal First Nations have banned trophy hunting under their laws throughout their unceded territories, and the public is overwhelmingly supportive.

Buying out the remaining hunting tenures in the Great Bear Rainforest, coupled with the administrative closure of resident hunting in the region, would create the largest grizzly bear reserve in the world and a model for sustainable economic activity.

Chris Genovali is executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation.