Tag Archives: grizzly hunt

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/

Times Colonist, Comment: Wildlife-Management Reform is Long Overdue

2015 09 05_0729

TIMES COLONIST AUGUST 11, 2017 http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion/op-ed/comment-wildlife-management-reform-is-long-overdue-1.21795751

The underpinnings of contemporary wildlife management are political and ideological, largely at the expense of wildlife for the presumed benefit of people.

Unsurprisingly, wildlife management in British Columbia is marked by an outdated mindset that primarily views wild animals as a “resource” to be exploited by recreational hunting or as troublesome creatures that need to be killed because their existence conflicts with human endeavours. Saddled by a myopic adherence to the debunked and inaptly named North American model of wildlife conservation, wildlife policy in B.C. is mired in a philosophically and structurally faulty approach.

Simply, wildlife policies are focused on consumption and control, rather than conservation.

As ethicist Michael Nelson and wildlife ecologists John Vucetich, Paul C. Paquet and Joseph Bump note in their critique, North American Model: What’s Flawed, What’s Missing, What’s Needed, the model’s primary tenet, i.e. recreational hunting being central to wildlife conservation, is based upon an inadequate account of history and an inadequate ethic.

Largely ignoring the biology and intrinsic value of all species, the model reinforces the narrow idea that nature is a commodity — a “resource” — owned and used by humans in pursuit of personal interests. This “management” perspective draws its support from — and sustains — the view that humans exist outside of nature, and that other species, apart from their utility for humans, are of little importance in the larger scheme of things. Human dominion and domination over nature are deemed to be the natural order.

Predominantly driven by a recreational hunting agenda, the North American model is informed largely by values, attitudes and atavistic beliefs entrenched in the self-serving fallacy that killing wild animals for sport and control is essential to wildlife conservation.

As explained in the critique, the model relies on a misinterpretation of history in which recreational hunting is disproportionately, and inaccurately, seen as the driver of North American wildlife conservation, while downplaying the contributions of monumental figures such as John Muir and Aldo Leopold, who pioneered broad-based approaches to conservation without focusing on hunting as its primary tool.

The province’s recent proposal to privatize wildlife management illustrates the pernicious effect of the North American model on the mindset of government bureaucrats and politicians. In the run-up to the election, the B.C. Liberals announced plans to implement an extra-governmental agency that would be controlled by recreational hunting groups.

This perverse scheme is the culmination of decades of undue influence by the recreational hunting lobby on the B.C. government; it was also inevitable under the model, where science and ethics are ignored in favour of self-perpetuating myth and anecdote.

With its philosophical roots in the model, the grizzly-bear hunt is an egregious and persistent example of how B.C. wildlife management fails to address ecological, economic and ethical considerations. Using the province’s kill data to determine if B.C.’s grizzly management meets its own objectives, Raincoast Conservation Foundation scientists have found that total kills commonly exceed limits determined by provincial policy. Financial analyses have shown that grizzlies are worth far more alive than dead, and poll after poll indicates a clear majority of British Columbians have judged the recreational hunting of these large carnivores an abhorrent activity.

Considering centuries of human privilege over the needs of the environment, what we need to manage is not wildlife but ourselves. Recognizing that many human activities have damaging effects on biodiversity and ecological communities, what should wildlife management in B.C. look like?

Briefly, Raincoast envisions a compassionate conservation policy based on management for wildlife, as opposed to management of wildlife — a policy that takes into account the health and well-being of individuals and populations. Furthermore, we envision substantially more consideration given to maintaining the integrity of ecological systems upon which species depend.

Although species might continue to exist and suffer long after natural ecological relationships have been altered or destroyed, such impoverished conditions are not sustainable and do not typify healthy environments. Finally, wildlife management needs to emerge from the shadows and adopt practices in keeping with modern science, as well as principles regarding the ethical treatment of animals.

Without a significant shift in how we relate to and interact with wildlife, future generations will look back with stunned dismay at how our society could be so divorced from reality and morality. The hopeful news in B.C. is that with a new government there is the opportunity for positive change and a much more ecologically and ethically informed approach to wildlife management.

Chris Genovali is executive director of Raincoast Conservation Foundation. Large-carnivore expert Paul C. Paquet is Raincoast’s senior scientist. https://www.raincoast.org
© Copyright Times Colonist

 

BC NDP Takes Aim at $60,000 Donation by Trophy Hunters for BC Liberals Election Campaign-The Straight Article

Read Article: http://www.straight.com/news/885131/bc-ndp-takes-aim-60000-donation-trophy-hunters-bc-liberal-election-campaign  by Carlito Pablo on March 22nd, 2017 at 3:21 PM

grizzly_bear_photo_by_bc_parks

Grizzly bear trophy hunters have contributed money to help B.C. Liberals win the election this year, says a B.C. NDP representative.

Provincial NDP leader John Horgan says it’s time to end grizzly-bear hunts in B.C.
Statistics reveal decade-long increase in B.C. hunting licences for grizzlies and black bears
Activists and Lush Cosmetics team up to make film about ending B.C.’s trophy hunt of grizzly bears
Martyn Brown: The grisly business of trophy hunting in Super, Natural British Columbia
Can grizzly bear watchers end B.C.’s trophy hunt?

George Heyman cited a report by the public interest organization Dogwood about a $60,000 kitty put together by U.S. and Canadian chapters of Safari Club International.
The New Democrat MLA for Vancouver-Fairview said that Dogwood’s information came from a Facebook post showing a cheque made out by the hunters to the Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. (GOABC)

According to Heyman, the fund is supposedly meant to assist the guide outfitters association “reelect the Liberal government in B.C., so the trophy hunt continues”.
“Clearly [B.C. Liberal Premier] Christy Clark is happy to have outside organization spends tens of thousands of dollars to help her get reelected, and ignore the desires of the majority of British Columbians to end the trophy hunt of grizzly bears,” Heyman told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview Wednesday (March 22).
In November last year, the B.C. NDP promised that it will end the sport killing of grizzly bears if the party wins the May 9, 2017 provincial election.
“We’ve pledged very clearly that when were elected, we will ban the trophy hunt, and that we’ll work with First Nations such as in the Great Bear Rainforest,” Heyman said.
The Straight called GOABC and requested comment from executive director Scott Ellis. He has yet to return a call as of this posting.
A 2016 report by the GOABC titled ‘Grizzly Bear Management in British Columbia’ stated that hunters harvest less than two percent of the grizzly population

Read Full Article:http://www.straight.com/news/885131/bc-ndp-takes-aim-60000-donation-trophy-hunters-bc-liberal-election-campaign

Stopthetrophyhuntlogo

April 1’17 Rally to End the ‘Grizzly’ Hunt -Videos of Speakers

1. Val Murray, Justice for BC Grizzlies and Organizer of Rally www.justiceforbcgrizzlies.com

2. Trish Boyum, Ocean Adventures Chartered Tours

3. Bryce Casavant, NDP Candidate Oak Bay-Gordon Head

4. Jens Wieting, Sierra Club of B.C.

5. Donna Johnson, Wuikinuxv Nation

6. Sonia Furstenau – Green Candidate

7. Jordan Reichert, Animal Protection Party of Canada

Published on Apr 4, 2017
Justice for BC Grizzlies organized the April 1st Rally for B.C. Grizzlies, bringing citizens together to pressure the government to end the Trophy Hunt of Grizzly Bears in BC. Justice for BC Grizzlies is a diverse grassroots movement of BC residents. We share a common concern over the brutal killing of Grizzly Bears in a lottery hunt that takes place twice each year. Together we are making the grizzly hunt an election issue in BC. #grizzlies #grizzly #endthehunt #trophyhunt

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Horgan and NDP Commits to Ban Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt- November 24, 2016

November 24, 2016

http://bcndpcaucus.ca/news/horgan-commits-ban-grizzly-bear-trophy-hunt/#.WDiwzNATQ4Y.twitter

ndppressconfnov23rdVANCOUVER– New Democrat leader John Horgan announced a New Democrat government will ban the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia.

“It’s time for some leadership here,” said Horgan. “We can look after our natural environment, respect the outdoor traditions of this province and grow the economy if we make the right choices. That should start now with a change in how we treat the iconic grizzly bears of B.C.”

Horgan added, “This province has a proud outdoor heritage that includes hunting and fishing. We also have a future that includes welcoming the world to enjoy our spectacular scenery and wildlife, creating jobs for British Columbians and a tourism industry that is second to none. Our heritage and our future can thrive together if we make the right choices.”

“The Coastal First Nations banned the grizzly trophy hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest four years ago. A provincial ban is long overdue to stop the needless killing of grizzly bears for sport. Grizzly bears are respected by many First Nations across the province. Bear claws, hides and teeth are not trophies,” said Doug Neasloss, Chief Councillor for the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais.

“The wildlife viewing industry is booming in this province, and creating good jobs from Vancouver to Stewart,” said Spencer Chandra Herbert, the B.C. New Democrat spokesperson for tourism, “Grizzlies are an iconic species and B.C.’s grizzlies can continue to attract visitors from all over the world if we make the right choices.”

Horgan added that his party had introduced legislation to ensure wildlife and habitat management has secure funding in the province – a bill supported by hunters and wildlife viewing companies, but rejected by the government.

“Wildlife, wildlife habitat, and the families, communities and economies that depend on them can’t wait any longer,” said Horgan, “Christy Clark won’t act, but I will.”

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Globe and Mail Opinion: After the Spear Outrage We Must Fight to Protect Canada’s Iconic Bears

Getty Images/istock

Getty Images/istock

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/after-the-spear-outrage-we-must-fight-to-protect-canadas-iconic-bears/article31447415/   August 17, 2016

Julius Strauss is a B.C.-based bear viewing guide and member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association

The killing of a black bear by a U.S. hunter with a spear this week in Alberta has caused public outrage.

What has shocked is not so much the cruelty involved – the bear survived its initial injuries and ran off into the forest only to die later – but that the bear had been baited, and the act was legal.

The hunter, Josh Bowmar from Ohio, went on to celebrate the feat by posting a video of the killing on YouTube replete with footage from a GoPro he had attached to the spear.

Another hunter said Mr. Bowmar had “cojones” for being willing to approach the bear on foot, as it rummaged around a baited barrel that had been put out specifically for the purpose.

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