Tag Archives: Minister Doug Donaldson

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November 29, 2017

Dear Premier Horgan et al,

We are writing to file a public service complaint regarding the operational and
recruitment (or hiring) practices of the BC Conservation Officer Service (COS).

We assert that a clear conflict of interest is present within the COS, its hiring practices,
and its operational policies. This identified conflict has created a significant risk to our
environment and the wildlife in this province for decades. We ask the Premier’s Office to
direct the Public Service Agency to conduct a review of the mandate, role,
organizational culture, and operational policies of the COS and to take immediate action
to correct these identified deficiencies.

Over the past sixteen years, honesty, integrity and accountability in Government were
bankrupted by the previous regime. Election 2017, we gave the NDP our trust, our
votes, and a mandate to bring about proactive change in the governance of British
Columbia.

In this letter, we will:
1. Demonstrate why there needs to be a review of the Conservation Officer Service
policies and mandate, including the need for the formalizing of ethics policies for public
servants that are involved in looking after wildlife in the wild, and in the wildlife’s
interface with communities.

2. Identify and address the public’s failing trust in the Conservation Officer service,
and what needs to be done to build trust in policies, education, and enforcement.

3. Address the fact that many Conservation Officers are hunters / trophy hunters, and
what this means to the public’s trust / lack of trust in the ability of COs to make decisions
with impartiality.

4. Ask for the independent oversight of the Conservation Officer Service just like
police have independent review boards in place.

5. Recommendations / solutions for the “conservation” of wildlife including preventative
education, wildlife laws with teeth, and proactive enforcement of laws, that apply to all
British Columbians.
Concerns

In a recent publication titled ‘In Defence of a Fallen King’, former BC Conservation
Officer Bryce Casavant wrote that he has personal knowledge of conservation officers
tranquilizing grizzly bear cubs, taking trophy photos, and then killing them quietly off site
out of the public’s eye
http://www.brycecasavant.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/UPDATED-In-Defence-of-a-Fallen-King-formal-submission-2.pdf. The paper alludes to the need for a review of the
conservation officer program, calls for an ethics guideline for public servants involved in
wildlife management, and raises the issue of taxpayers funding the current model that
we have described.

The Conservation Officer Service recently posted a recruitment advertisement: https:// www.facebook.com/ConservationOfficerService/photos/a. 282020058506219.61904.282011641840394/1808079409233602/?type=3&theater
that reinforces the following concerns:

1. The Conservation Officer Service field operations is largely staffed by licensed
hunters, members of the BC Wildlife Federation, and in some cases, trophy hunters.

2. There is no independent oversight of this agency. Although it operates as a police
department, it is not accountable under the Police Act and it has no independent board
overseeing its operations and policy development.

3. Officers who are licensed hunters are afforded the opportunity to hunt for work
irrespective of closed seasons, permits, and licensing requirements. They benefit
personally (getting to hunt all year for work) and financially (they don’t have to purchase
licences or abide by standard laws) from their employment. This situation creates an
inherent bias and conflict of interest when responding to human-wildlife conflicts. It is
not reasonable to think that a licensed hunter, whose passion is killing wildlife, can
separate his hobby from his job and the need for him/her to maintain at least the
perception of impartiality as required by the BC public service code of conduct.
Therefore, the BC public service code of conduct is not being met.

4. Many examples illustrate a complete lack of “conservation”, education, or proactive
community policing, in combination with neighbourhood bears and their cubs being
killed , leaves the public completely distrustful:

See https://www.nationalobserver.com/2016/05/10/news/bear-cub-rehab-option-killedbc- conservation-office, or comments on social media such as “No one respects our
conservation officers and they are the biggest disgrace in BC for the slaughter they and
the RCMP do to our wildlife. So busy killing and making up lame excuses they have
forgotten how to conserve. Stop hiring hunters and get people who want to save our
wildlife.”

With the public’s lack of trust in the operational and hiring practices, there is great
concern regarding the Conservation Officer Service being placed in charge of “policing”
any new regulations regarding hunting, that the new government may develop.

5. The take-away message in the recruitment post:  https://www.facebook.com/ ConservationOfficerService/photos/a. 282020058506219.61904.282011641840394/1808079409233602/?type=3&theater
is that if you want to shoot wildlife for a job, you should join the Conservation Officer
Service. The fact that the agency believes it is okay to present this “message” to the
public, is exactly why the service mandate needs to be reviewed. There is no
messaging about actual conservation, rehabilitation, preventative education, coexistence,
or proactive community policing/outreach. It’s about shooting and killing (i.e.,
hunting) wildlife for work. This is the problem, and it has clearly created widespread
mistrust in the service’s ability to perform its mandate with a reasonable expectation of
impartiality and unbiased decision-making.

6. In almost every case where wildlife, particularly bears—both black bears and
grizzlies—are killed by a CO, the situation has been caused or exacerbated by
individuals or companies that are in contravention of the Wildlife Act because they have
not managed specific attractants. Yet very few tickets are handed out. Enforcement by
COs is almost nonexistent. Public education on the law is one of the primary
responsibilities of the COS, yet most of it is done by volunteers or low-paid employees
of a variety of community-based agencies. The primary reason given by government is
that there are far too few COs in BC to do this work. In order to be effective, the COS
needs to be properly funded by government specifically to do this public education and
enforcement work. Public safety is a direct result of public education, and public safety
is often the reason given for killing wildlife.

Supporting Information

In specific reference to the recruitment advertisement, the language used (“Want to
tranquillize a Grizzly Bear? Have you ever wanted to be up close and personal with a
live grizzly bear and get paid for doing it? Well now’s your chance. You could be the
next BC Conservation Officer who responds to human wildlife conflicts keeping our
communities safe.”) is not conducive to recruiting personnel whose primary concern is
conservation of wildlife. This is the juvenile, self-aggrandizing “sales” slang of an agency
that has lost touch with its conservation mandate.
In addition to these callous words, which clearly demonstrate the COS intends to
pander to a hunting audience, there is the accompanying photo of a CO holding a
grizzly bear cub mimicking those displayed by trophy hunters (This photo shares an
uncanny resemblance to the one in MOE 2017-73290).

One only has to look at the FaceBook profile pages of those who have been tagged in
the comment section to understand who the COS is pandering to. Most are hunters.
For more photos of Conservation Officers posing with their “trophies”, see: http:// www.westerncanadiangamewarden.com/S2012Phantom.html
A “story” of the “glory” of 2 COs:   https://www.outdoorlife.com/articles/jon-farley/2007/09/ phantom-hungry-hill
Outdoor Life a hunting magazine   https://www.outdoorlife.com
glorifying the killing of a bear by COs, (and more than 1 bear was killed on “Hungry Hill”,
according to some locals.

While this bear was in someone’s home, who was really responsible? Do you think
images like this help the reputation of hunters / COs? http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ british-columbia/grizzly-bear-shot-dead-inside-kimberley-home-1.3185310
“65% more bears killed by COs on Vancouver Island but complaints down.” That’s not
surprising, given the discussion in this letter.. ie no one wants to report wildlife being in
their area but more bears are killed anyway, by COs.   http://vancouverisland.ctvnews.ca/ number-of-bears-killed-by-b-c-conservation-officers-up-65-per-cent-this-year-1.3600502
As an agency, the COS professes integrity by stating, “Integrity. We maintain the
public’s confidence and trust by acting with sincerity and transparency.” However, their
recruitment ad demonstrates quite the contrary and is in violation of the code of conduct
for BC public servants for the reasons described above https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/ content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/human-wildlife-conflict
In the Globe and Mail on 24 October 2017, Environment and Climate Change Minister
George Heyman publicly stated, “We want to restore and increase transparency and
public confidence in our ability to protect our natural environment, starting with this
iconic species, the grizzly bear, that is so important to so many British Columbians.” The
nature of the aforementioned recruitment ad on the COS Facebook page will hardlyallay the public’s fears.

To the contrary, the public’s trust in the agency has been
decreasing for many years. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change’s
ability to protect grizzly bears, especially during this time with the very contentious
grizzly bear hunting issues on the table, is being undermined by the very officers sworn
to protect them (http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/habitat-loss-nothunting- main-threat-to-grizzly-bears-auditor-general-says/article36710111/).
Further, as Casavant said in his introduction to To Conserve and Protect:
Talking about public trust and how wildlife enforcement in British Columbia is conducted
and perceived isn’t always simple, but it is an integral part to ensuring our democratic
values are upheld.
http://(http://www.brycecasavant.ca/2017/10/27/discussion-starter-conserve-protect/)
Bears are paying for poor guidelines and practices, with their lives (500 bears killed by
Conservation Officers in BC so far in 2017).

“Conservation” Officers who may themselves be hunters and/or trophy hunters, are
going to police the proposed regulations that the new BC government says will “close
the loopholes” on grizzly bear hunting. We believe this constitutes a conflict of interest.
Further examples of the COS’ organizational culture are displayed within various
publicly available information links. For example, if you watch the YouTube link https:// youtu.be/WG6u-xEsx1k, you will see wildlife trophies on the wall behind the officer in
the Conservation Officer Service office . Another example can be found in a blog where
the same CO expresses his interests as: “fishing, hunting and trapping” (https:// fernie.com/blog/2012/11/joe-caravetta-receives-queens-diamond-jubilee-medal/).

When the COS mandate on the BC government website includes the words “prevent
dangerous wildlife from entering our communities and becoming a public safety
concern,” we are reminded of similar statements made by those who hunt grizzly bears.
It is not the wildlife that is dangerous, but the people who are leaving out attractants and
endangering their communities. A CO’s job is the proactive, preventative policing of
these issues, not strictly the reactive killing of wildlife because they like to hunt for work.
The recruitment ad on the COS Facebook page very clearly demonstrates the toxic
culture of killing within the agency, and a lack of respect for wildlife. As the new
government of our Super Natural British Columbia has said, “It’s time for change.”

Recommendations:

In the election campaign, BC NDP said it would create COS jobs and put more of these
“boots on the ground.” Regardless of if these “promises” hold true or not, the mounting
kill stories (as reported by the Vancouver Sun in multiple articles this year) blatantly
illustrate that the new government must immediately address the conservation officer
program. Our immediate concerns/recommendation are the following:

1) Amend BC’s Wildlife Act to promote commercial/residential attractant audits;
mandatory preventative attractant management; abolish attractant loopholes for any
British Columbian and any business in British Columbia; and enforce/increase monetary
penalties Section 33.1 & 88.1 directly applied to either:

a) property taxes
b) ICBC insurance premiums or BC vehicle licensing
c) MSP “tax”
d) or other efficient/effective method TBA

2) Immediately change the curriculum of COS training such that successful graduates,
i.e., Officers, can finally understand and responsibly communicate the critically different
behavioural definitions for the following:

a) “habituated” and
b) “food-conditioned”
Additionally, mandatory psychological screening and PTSD counselling should be made
available for the safety of the officers and the roles they play in the community, as
occurs in other policing agencies.

3) Educate and enforce prevention of loose, roaming dogs harassing/abusing bears
(Section 78 BC Wildlife Act), while “baiting” cougar and wolf predation/conflict into
wilderness interface neighbourhoods/communities.

4) Provide independent oversight just like a police board (maybe the environmental
appeal board?) and demolish the organizational structures that are empowering an
agency that is, in our opinion, a Corrupt Organization of Shooters. Cease being a
reactive model that ensures wildlife conflict and reprehensible kill numbers, to a
responsible, proactive, preventative ‘enforcement’ agency http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/ content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/ human-wildlife-conflict

5) “Recommend that a special conflict of interest or ethics guideline/policy be developed
for public servants engaged with work on the grizzly bear file or in the development of
formal BC policy on this issue. Public servants or consultants with a conflict identified
under this new policy should be excused from the file, or subjected to a performance
review of their conflict, in order to maintain public trust and confidence in the process.”
per Bryce Casavant’s suggestions in” In Defense of a Fallen King”

Mr. Jefferson Bray’s letter follows, in which he shares specific incidents that
demonstrate why we are asking the Premier’s Office to direct the Public Service Agency
to conduct a review of the mandate, role, organizational culture, and operational policies
of the COS and to take immediate action to correct our identified deficiencies outlined in
this letter.

Yours truly,
Trish & Eric Boyum
Barb Murray – Bears Matter
Jefferson Bray

November 29, 2017

Dear Premier Horgan et al,

My name is Jefferson Bray. I am a signatory to the recently filed public service complaint to your
office.

As described within that complaint, I am providing further details pertaining to the Bella
Coola Valley and the conduct of the Conservation Officer Service. I consider this letter a part of
the complaint filed on November 29, 2017 and signed by Eric and Trish Boyum, Barb Murray –
Bears Matter and myself. I have attached photos of incidents that have occurred here, and
serve as examples of situations that still remain unresolved in this community, are known to the
COS, and that have resulted in bear deaths. I have provided my conclusion and necessary
recommendations.

I have been a resident of British Columbia for over forty years. I have made my home in the
Bella Coola Valley for the past fourteen. The attitude displayed in the examples provided, and
by many COS officers, is not that of a professional armed law enforcement service, but rather, a
rouge agency that is not accountable for its actions. Based on multiple interactions that I have
personally had with officers, I know that many officers ‘react’ to calls/situations by tracking and
killing wildlife. Indeed, the complaint that accompanies this additional supporting information and signed by others, reflects the true organizational attitude within the COS and an abusive
empowerment killing culture. This allegation is re-enforced by the fact that non-natural attractant laws are rarely enforced by the officers in this community (even after a bear has been killed).

A COS Officer stood in my driveway and told me that fines for offences under Section 33.1 of the BC Wildlife Act aren’t enforced/collected by the Province.

In the attached photographs you will note a female grizzly bear (her single cub was bawling at
the base of the tree) in an unprotected, fruit-laden apple tree that was one of a few that lined the private property boundary adjacent to the Hagensborg fuel/service station “Mecham’s”.
Unprotected fruit trees e.g. cherry (Spring), plum, pear and apple (Fall) illegally “bait” bears into
conflict. The COS has been aware of this for decades and fail to act – refusing to enforce the law
(Section 33.1 & Section 88.1 BC Wildlife Act) that is the foundation for their employed existence.
And Bella Coola Valley has had a “bear working group” for years, represented by MOE Human-
Wildlife Conflict Mike Badry, COS, WildlSafeBC, yet only afforded a part-time Conservation
Officer. Illegally “food-conditioned” bears are executed annually, while any “untrained” eye can
drive the 60 odd kilometres along Highway 20 (@80 km/h), performing a pseudo non-natural
attractant audit, identifying unprotected livestock and fruit trees from South Tweedsmuir to Bella Coola.

Recommendations

BC NDP and BC Liberals stated they would create jobs and put more “boots on the
ground” (Election 2017 campaign statements to increase the number of Conservation Officers in BC). Regardless of whether these “promises” hold true or not, these mounting kill stories
blatantly illustrate that our new NDP Government must immediately address the following
reprehensible failings of the Conservation Officer program1) Amend the BC Wildlife Act to promote commercial/residential attractant audits; mandatory
preventative attractant management; abolish attractant loopholes for various labels, or subsections of peoples e.g. ”farmers” and First Nations, because bears/‘dangerous wildlife’ don’t
care what ethnicity, race, religion, gender, hobby, or form of employment is responsible for the
illegal “baiting” – irresponsible human behaviour is irresponsible human behaviour); and enforce/increase monetary penalties Section 33.1 & 88.1 directly applied to either:
i) property taxes
ii) ICBC insurance premiums
iii) MSP “tax”iv) or other efficient/effective method TBA

2) Immediately change the curriculum of COS training such that successful graduates, i.e.
Officers, can finally understand, and responsibly communicate the critically different behavioural definitions for the following:
i) “habituated” and
ii) “food-conditioned”
iii) Understand bear physiology (and corresponding behaviour), their natural ‘attraction’ to
introduced i.e. non-native fruit orchards, vineyards, carrot patches, etc.https://phys.org/news/2017-08-kodiak-elderberries-salmon-climate.html

3) Educate and enforce prevention of loose, roaming dogs harassing/abusing bears (Section 78
BC Wildlife Act), while “baiting” cougar and wolf predation/conflict into wilderness interface
neighbourhoods/communities.

4) Provide independent oversight just like a police board (maybe the environmental appeals
board?) and demolish the organization structures that are empowering an agency that is, in my
opinion, a Corrupt Organization of Shooters. Cease being a reactive model that ensures wildlife
conflict and indefensible kill numbers, to a responsible, proactive, preventative ‘enforcement’
agency. https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/plants-animals-ecosystems/wildlife/ human-wildlife-conflict

Based on my own experiences with Conservation Officers, many of whom are licensed hunters
and/or trophy hunters, I would like to know, does an Officer who kills animals for a living, ever
receive counselling, or a 5-year psychiatric check-up like police do? If not, why not?

There exists within this agency, a repetitive pattern of dereliction of duty under the own policy
and mandate. Under the guise of ‘conservation’, a reactive, “toothless” enforcement agency,
that does not enforce preventative attractant management Sections of the BC Wildlife Act – the
foundation of conservation law, but instead kills for convenience of cost/effort, and protection
from potential Provincial liability claims. The uniforms, the badges, the laws, the mantra
“Integrity, Service and Protection” are intended to represent a higher moral authority for the
safety and betterment of our communities and British Columbia’s natural environs. This corrupt,destructive model is the antithesis of that.

Yours truly,
Jefferson Bray

Male grizzly killed by COS as a result of predation on unprotected calves (no e-fencing) in Spring.

Typical September morning Hwy 20, less than 100 metres from SAM Secondary school entrance – grizzly “applesauce” scat (size 10 shoe).

September, approximately midday Hagensborg service station “Mecham’s”. Grizzly mother and cub of the year (at base of unprotected apple tree).

November 29, 2017 example photos along Hwy 20 – a non-native sweet cherry tree 9 metres from the highway double yellow centre line, and a fruit laden, unprotected apple tree.

 

Letter to BC Govt re: Grizzly Meat Hunt Regulations (Deadline Nov 2, 2017)

Ward Trotter
Executive Director, Natural Resources
Resource Stewardship Division, FLNR Ministry ( see emails and initial response below)

Oct 19, 2017

Dear Mr. Trotter,

I wish I could thank you for your response. However, I can’t. It’s difficult to thank for a generic email that was sent to everyone and doesn’t address any of the concerns I highlighted in my letter regarding the grizzly hunt. I truly hope that this public consultation will be different than the ones we had under the liberal government.

I reiterate my strong opposition to grizzly hunt and I am asking for a full and complete ban on hunting grizzly bears all over BC. We are being asked to comment on how to manage the ‘meat’ hunt, but the majority of British Columbians clearly stated that there should not be grizzly hunt of any kind. I respectfully want to remind you that this is the view of the same majority that voted for change. I would like to ask, thus, my government to address our wishes instead of ignoring them and asking us to comment on the ‘meat’ hunt.

I also wanted to stress that among those who oppose the grizzly hunt, there are also hunters who truly hunt for food. They view the grizzly hunt as “socially and environmentally unsustainable” – an unethical practice that has no place in modern society, and conservation”. They say that statement about eating grizzly meat from both Guide Operators and hunters “betrays an ignorance and selfishness that should never be supported by our government.” Indeed, we all know the BC grizzly hunt has never been about the “meat” hunt. It is and always has been about for a rug, a head on the wall, a photo over a dead grizzly bear, a trophy. Reviewing old hunting forums tells us a lot about hunters’ opinion about grizzly meat. For the majority, grizzly bear meat is inedible because contains parasitic diseases and needs to be handled and cooked in a particular, laborious way to make it safe. However, incredulously, over the past year or so, many grizzly bear hunters have suddenly developed the taste for grizzly meat… I do not think British Columbians can be fooled so easily. This whole idea of eating grizzly meat is really insulting the intelligence of many of your supporters.

Furthermore, as I also mentioned in my previous e-mail, the notion of sustainability of the grizzly hunt can be easily questioned… As a conservation scientist who has a training and years of experience with population models, I know how much uncertainty is involved in their predictions. And these predictions have become even more uncertain due to impacts of climate change on food supply and habitat. Even though hunters claim that they see more bears in some areas, this claim is misleading. Grizzlies respond to changes in food supply and to other human related stressors. And yes, they move across the landscape, which can give a false impression of their higher densities in some areas. This does not mean, however, that population is doing well. Far from it. In fact, we keep waking up every day to ‘surprise information’ about species going extinct. Just a recent WWF analysis looking at the long-term trends of more than 900 species of wildlife in Canada has found that half of them have seen their populations decline, including several species already listed as threatened or endangered. Is it really a surprise or are we just turning a blind eye to what’s happening to wildlife around us only to wake up one day to the stern reality that it is already too late? Please, do not let it happen to grizzlies.

Finally, I would appreciate my government to stop using the word ‘harvest’ in relation to wildlife. As a scientist, I have been trained in wildlife management and this is the vocabulary that I have been taught. Still, it does not mean that we should keep using it. Our social values change, and this change needs to be reflected in our vocabulary and in how we define our relationship with animals. We don’t view grizzlies or any other wildlife species as “resources” to be “harvested”, but, instead, living, breathing beings that has the right to live and be free from our dominance and persecution. Is this an emotional statement? Yes, it is. Still, it can no longer be brushed away because its relevance is supported by the latest science. These latest findings reveal the richness of animals’ inner lives and provide a vindication for our deep emotional appreciation of other beings. Ironically, the attempts by government’s and pro-hunting groups to paint the public’s emotional arguments in relation to animal welfare as unscientific are, on their own, blatantly unscientific — a denial of science at its most fundamental level.

I therefore plead with you to hear British Columbians when we say that we do not want to comment on the ‘meat’ hunt that they find unethical and unjustifiable. Instead we are asking our newly elected government to end all hunting of all grizzly bears across all of BC. Please, do not let grizzlies slip through the bureaucratic cracks into extinction. We can’t let it happen. Instead, let’s put our efforts into habitat restoration and education on co-existence with these majestic creatures that the whole envious world is coming to BC to see and admire.

Sincerely,

Dr. Gosia Bryja,  British Columbia, Canada

 

________________________________________
From: “Executive Division Office, FLNR:EX” <FLNR.ExecutiveDivisionOffice@gov.bc.ca>
To:
Cc: “OfficeofthePremier, Office PREM:EX” <Premier@gov.bc.ca>; “Minister, FLNR FLNR:EX” <FLNR.Minister@gov.bc.ca>; “Minister, ENV ENV:EX” <ENV.Minister@gov.bc.ca>; “Weaver.MLA, Andrew LASS:EX” <Andrew.Weaver.MLA@leg.bc.ca>; “Tegart.MLA, Jackie LASS:EX” <Jackie.Tegart.MLA@leg.bc.ca>; “Olsen…MLA, Adam LASS:EX” <Adam.Olsen.MLA@leg.bc.ca>                                                                              (also write to  Grizzly.Bear@gov.bc.ca )
Sent: Friday, October 20, 2017 2:30 PM
Subject: RE: Grizzly Bear Trophy Hunt (ref: 230514/230704)

Thank you for writing concerning the grizzly bear trophy hunting. I apologize for the delayed response.

As a number of British Columbians have written with enquiries and comments on this topic, I am providing further information below. Your comments will be considered as part of all feedback received through the consultation process outlined below, which is open for public input until November 2, 2017.

Effective November 30, 2017, the ministry plans to end trophy hunting by making it illegal to possess the trophy parts of a grizzly bear harvested after November 30, 2017, along with all hunting of grizzly bear in the Great Bear Rainforest, which acts on the new government’s platform commitment. Closing the grizzly bear hunt altogether in the Great Bear Rainforest also goes beyond the previous commitments made to Coastal First Nations. Hunting for meat will be allowed to continue outside the Great Bear Rainforest.

The prohibition on possession of grizzly bear trophy parts and the grizzly bear hunting closure in Great Bear Rainforest will not apply to First Nations who harvest grizzly bears within their traditional territories pursuant to Aboriginal rights for food, social or ceremonial purposes, or treaty rights.

Government has invited public input on the trophy hunting ban and proposed regulation changes required to implement the ban. The correspondence we received from you has been provided as input to this consultation process.

Should you wish to provide additional comments, you have the opportunity to provide input until November 2, 2017, on 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

If you choose to submit further input at that email, you will receive a confirmation of receipt back. Due to the expected volume of material, individual responses will not be possible.

We will also be developing, with public input, a renewed wildlife management strategy for BC. The key elements of that strategy will include dedicated funding for wildlife and habitat conservation and a collaborative process to develop short- and long-term plans for wildlife resources.

Thank you again for writing to express your concerns.
Sincerely,
Ward Trotter
Executive Director, Natural Resources
Resource Stewardship Division

 

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