- Premier John HorganPremier of British Columbia
- Honourable Melanie MarkMinister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
- Honourable George HeymanMinister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
- Honourable Doug DonaldsonMinister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
- Andrew WeaverLeader of the BC Green Party
- Adam OlsenDeputy Leader, BC Green Party
Protect grizzly bears by banning the trophy hunt in BC
On August 14th, the NDP government announced a ban on the grizzly bear trophy hunt province-wide and a stop to all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest – after the fall hunt, which began the day after the announcement. This year, the Fall hunt has been extended from August 15 to November 30, 2017.
In the fall hunt female grizzlies may be pregnant when they are hunted. In the spring hunt, female bears are often shot due to mistaken identity leaving their cubs to perish. Grizzly bears have the second lowest reproduction rate of North American land mammals. Economically, BC’s grizzly bear trophy hunt threatens the growing and sustainable wildlife-based tourism industry. Eco-tourism and bear viewing attract thousands of people to BC every year and create sustainable employment. There is simply no scientific, ethical or economic rationale for the hunt.
The changes by the NDP government still allow for the killing of grizzlies in the rest of the province so long as hunters take the bear’s edible portions. This does not make for a true end to trophy hunting; it is a loophole that may lead to more poaching for valuable trophies, and it is unclear how it will be enforced. Grizzly bear meat is rarely eaten by hunters. Even if the meat must be checked by a Conservation Officer, it could still be discarded afterwards. We do not oppose hunting for food, but one of the most powerful, intelligent, slowest-reproducing, and farthest ranging land mammals is not a necessary or ethical food source.
British Columbia is one of the last refuges of the grizzly bear, which once roamed widely across North America. Despite widespread opposition, our government continues to treat this vulnerable and iconic species as an expendable resource. Along with First Nations and conservation partners, we are working to end the trophy hunting of bears, wolves and other large carnivores in British Columbia. Please sign this petition to help our efforts.
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- Premier of British Columbia
Premier John Horgan
- Minister of Advanced Education, Skills and Training
Honourable Melanie Mark
- Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy
Honourable George Heyman
- Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
Honourable Doug Donaldson
- Leader of the BC Green Party
- Deputy Leader, BC Green Party
I am writing to thank you for following the lead of Coastal First Nations in banning grizzly bear hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest, and for listening to the vast majority of British Columbians by moving forward to protect grizzly bears from trophy hunting in other areas of B.C.
However, I do not support a meat hunt for grizzlies in other parts of the province. This loophole will be too difficult to enforce given the lack of conservation officers in the province, will likely encourage poaching, and weakens the intention of a ban, which should be to protect these vulnerable animals from exploitation. Grizzly bears are listed as a Species of Special Concern in B.C. because of their slow reproduction rate (the lowest among North American land mammals), ongoing and rapid loss of habitat, declining salmon stocks, and high numbers of road and rail kills. They should not be killed for food or for trophies.
Grizzlies have been extirpated from much of their historical habitat and population estimates are a point of debate. Not only do independent scientists question the models used to estimate grizzly populations throughout the province, suggesting the models inflate grizzly bear numbers, but a recent peer-reviewed study found that the provincial government is failing to keep grizzly bear mortality below its own targets in some regions. Previous governments have done an abysmal job of protecting grizzly bear habitat.
Economically, B.C.’s grizzly bear trophy hunt threatens a sustainable and revenue-generating industry. We urge your government to fully support eco-tourism and bear viewing, which not only benefit the bears but also local economies. The Coastal First Nations have announced a ban on bear trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest so that they can fully embrace eco-tourism as a vital part of their sustainable future. We wholeheartedly support this important initiative and ask that your government follow their lead. Grizzly bear hunting directly impacts bear viewing in areas where they overlap.
Lastly, local and international wildlife conservationists, naturalists, eco-tour operators, wildlife photographers/filmmakers, biologists etc., would like to engage in a dialogue with your government about creating a province-wide grizzly bear sanctuary to best protect and celebrate iconic grizzly bears and their habitat so that future generations will be able to experience the beauty and majesty of these creatures.
We, the undersigned, look forward to your response to our requests for action and meaningful dialogue on these important and time-sensitive issues.
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