Tag Archives: Minister Doug Donaldson

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