Justice for BC Grizzlies

Help BC Grizzly Bears by contacting BC political candidates and ask for #TrophyFreeBC + #BanTrophyHunting.

Our Thunderclap campaign to Ban the Grizzly Hunt in British Columbia launched on March 10/17 with 304 supporters and a social reach of over 500, 000. That campaign is now closed but the pledge campaign and survey of political candidates are still active. Thank you to all who joined the Thunderclap campaign and helped to get this time-sensitive message out there.

NOW is the time to take this campaign to the next critical step. We ask all BC residents to take action by contacting political candidates in their riding, and elsewhere in BC, and asking them where they stand on ending the BC grizzly hunt.

TAKING ACTION IS EASY TO DO!

1. GO TO https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com/2017-provincial-election-grizzly-survey-results/ and check your riding to see which candidates have responded to the survey that asked where they stand on the BC grizzly hunt. If a candidate in your riding has not responded to the survey, call and ask them to do so.

2. GO TO justiceforbcgrizzlies.com Call to Action, where you will find information, links and three sample letters that you can use verbatim, or adapt with your own words. These letters can be sent online or surface mail to candidates in your riding and to politicians currently in government. Addresses for key political leaders can be found at https://justiceforbcgrizzlies.com/pledge-for-grizzlies-campaign/ where you can also take the pledge for grizzlies.

UPCOMING EVENT:  Rally for BC Grizzlies,  April 1/17, 1-2:30 at the Legislature in Victoria.  April 1st marks the first day of the hunt in most regions of the province.  Join us to stand up for Grizzly Bears!

Connecticut lawmakers considering bear hunting season

http://wtnh.com/2017/03/04/connecticut-lawmakers-considering-bear-hunting-season/

(Photo: Shutterstock)
(Photo: Shutterstock)

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — With bear sightings on the increase in Connecticut, lawmakers are considering legislation that would allow the animals to be hunted.

The General Assembly’s Environment Committee will hear testimony Monday on a bill requiring the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to come up with regulations and standards for black bear management, including hunting seasons and permit eligibility.

Days before the hearing, numerous opponents and proponents had already submitted written testimony on the bill, originally proposed by Litchfield Rep. Craig Miner, the committee’s Republican Senate chairman.

Opponents contend bears are a slow-to-reproduce species and would be susceptible to overhunting.

But proponents note how bears are moving into more urban areas and can be costly for the state to handle. They say a regulated hunting season would save the state money.

The fight is on over grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest

http://wuwm.com/post/fight-over-grizzly-hunting-great-bear-rainforest#stream/0

  JAN 31, 2017 

The small outboard boat I’m in is floating along the estuary of the Nekite River.

It’s a cloudless morning and just beyond the bow there’s rustling of trees and the sound of branches snapping.

I’m holding my microphone as far out as I can — so that I can record the sound of a male grizzly, on the shore about 15 yards away.

My guide here is Tom Rivest. “That is the sound that is called either chuffing or huffing. It sounds a little bit like bellows expelling air,” says Rivest. “The bears do that when they’re stressed — or excited, or a little both — which they probably are.”

The reason this bear is excited is that it’s mating season and he’s following a female and her two cubs.

Related: The Great Bear Rainforest is a model for how to save trees

Rivest co-owns a floating lodge here and has been taking tourists to this spot for 15 years.

So he knows this bear. He calls it Bo Diddley.

“Bo and I go back 10 years,” says Rivest. “So he was just a little scrawny thing back then. And now he’s quite large — probably an 800-pound bear.”

Bears like Bo Diddley are a big draw for tourists paying top dollar to see them. But there’s another type of tourist looking for bears here. Before I came here, I called up another guide to see what draws his customers.

“They’re world class as far as size and weight — and skull measurement.”

Skull measurement is one of the criteria for guide outfitters like Peter Klaui.

He owns a hunting license for a huge swath of the Great Bear Rainforest and runs a guiding company.

Klaui’s current license allows the hunting of 23 bears over five years, with a maximum of 7 per year.

Hunters pay him upwards of $20,000 for a trip here. But the hunting culture here may be winding down.

Earlier this year, the British Columbia government officially endorsed the practice of conservation groups buying hunting licenses from guides like Peter Klaui.

“Previously we just went and did it,” says Chris Genovali, head of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

In cooperation with Coastal First Nations, an alliance of aboriginal groups, Genovali’s foundation helps raise the millions of dollars needed to buy the hunting license tenures. They already own rights to about a third of the Great Bear Rainforest.

Genovali is no fan of trophy hunting in general, but he says it’s particularly cruel to hunt grizzlies here because they’re out in the open, grazing in estuaries or following a salmon run.

“It’s like someone walking into your kitchen or your dining room as you’re eating your breakfast or dinner and shooting you,” says Genovali. “It’s obscene. It’s becoming viewed by an overwhelming majority of the public as a fringe behavior.”

Genovali points to a poll in which only 10 percent of those who responded supported trophy hunting.

But there’s sort of a wink and a nod in conservationists’ deal with the government. In order to buy the hunting licenses, his group has to use them.

“We’ve had to show what’s called commercial activity,” explains Genovali. Once a year, they take out tourists for a fake hunt.

“We take clients on hunts in our guide outfitting territories and we look for bears — the difference is we shoot them with cameras.”

The BC government has agreed to an outright end to commercial grizzly bear hunting in some native territory in the Great Bear.

So the pressure is clearly on hunting guides. But Klaui says he isn’t worried about his business.

“Nothing has changed since that announcement and I don’t expect it to change,” says Klaui. He says he’s still getting calls from hunters. But Klaui also says he’s planning to retire at some point soon and might sell his license.

And he might even sell it to a conservation or aboriginal group if they offered him the most money. “If they want to eliminate or slow down hunting of carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest, they can do like anybody else and offer to buy out the business, just like on Wall Street.”

As for the grizzlies grazing on sedge grass on the Nekite River, they are safe from the crosshair of a rifle.

Raincoast Conservation Foundation owns the commercial hunting rights here. The area is also off limits to local resident hunters.

Rivest says that’s important because these bears have become used to humans.

“The biggest issue with viewing and hunting is that bears get used to being around people and they no longer have that innate fear so it is really not fair to hunt them.”

And that’s what the debate about hunting here really comes down to — fairness, and values.

The BC government estimates there are around 15,000 grizzlies in the province. And hunters kill between 250 and 300 grizzlies per year in BC.

So they’re not endangered. It’s more that the social clock seems to be running out on commercial trophy hunting.

For the grizzlies along the Nekite River, humans certainly don’t seem to be a threat.

If Bo Diddley was afraid of us he didn’t show it. He seemed more concerned with where that female grizzly was headed.

From PRI’s The World ©2016 PRI

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Bipedal Bear’s Apparent Death Motivates Bear Hunt Opponents in New Jersey

 

New Jersey’s long-debated black bear hunts have stoked strong passions, blasted by animal rights activists as inhumane and supported by hunters and wildlife officials who say they help control the population and minimize run-ins with humans.

But the death of a bear presumed to be one that walked on two feet and became a social media darling has become a rallying cry for hunt opponents as they prepare to stage protests during the second segment of this year’s hunt, which starts Monday. It’s scheduled to run through Saturday, but officials said it could end early depending on how many bears are culled.

Pedals the bear first surfaced about two years ago in Jefferson Township. The bear walked with an unusual gait on his hind legs and was spotted ambling around neighborhoods. It also was caught on videos that were posted online and shown on national television.

Wildlife officials believe Pedals was killed during the expanded bear hunt staged in October. The Department of Environmental Protection released pictures showing the lifeless body of a black bear with injured paws, just like the ones Pedals had, but couldn’t confirm the identity because Pedals was never tagged.

Animal rights activists say the belief that Pedals is dead has motivated them and others to work even harder to end the hunt. Pedals was last seen on video in June.

“Our numbers have always been high, but the killing of Pedals has caused our support to increase,” said Janine Motta, programs director for the Bear Education And Resource program. The group has staged protests during previous hunts in New Jersey and plans similar events during the upcoming hunt.

“Here was one particular bear that people may have known, seen or just followed on Facebook. They felt a connection with Pedals,” Motta said. “When he was killed, it became personal for those who loved him, and that translated into a greater awareness of the hunt in general and the realization that all bears who are killed are important.”

New Jersey resumed state-regulated bear hunting in 2003 after a ban that lasted more than 30 years. Another hunt was held in 2005, and in 2010 the state instituted an annual hunt.

The expanded six-day hunting season took effect this year. Hunters were allowed to use only bows and arrows to during the first three days, and muzzle-loading guns were added during the second half.

This coming week’s hunt is for firearms only and runs concurrently with the six-day firearm season for deer. But wildlife officials anticipate the bear hunt will end early due to the harvest limit set in the state’s bear management policy.

Hunters harvested 562 bears during the expanded hunt, and 23.4 percent were previously tagged bears. This week’s hunt will be suspended once the cumulative harvest rate of tagged bears reaches 30 percent, officials said.

State wildlife officials have touted the annual hunt as an important part of controlling the bear population and minimizing run-ins with humans, particularly in the northern part of New Jersey known as bear country. They have estimated that 3,500 bears live in New Jersey north of Interstate 80, roughly the upper one-eighth of the state.

Critics have called the hunt brutal, cruel and ineffective. But James Doherty, a Toms River resident who has taken part in previous hunts, believes the critics are so focused on their cause that they don’t see why it’s needed.

“The stereotype of hunters is that we’re all gun nuts who like to kill things for the fun of it, but that’s not the case,” Doherty said. “Listen to the biologists, the experts- the hunt helps keep the bear population in control, and that’s very important. If the population gets too high, there’s not enough food for all of them, and it can lead to more bear-human interactions.”

Read more: http://www.nbcphiladelphia.com/news/local/Bipedal-Bears-Apparent-Death-Motivated-Bear-Hunt-Opponents-in-New-Jersey-404604286.html#ixzz4Rzv3aTQ6
Follow us: @nbcphiladelphia on Twitter | NBCPhiladelphia on Facebook

N.J. bear hunt total hits 487 bears killed in first 5 days

By Justin Zaremba  | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
on October 15, 2016 at 8:01 AM, updated October 15, 2016 at 10:35 AM

NEWTON — In first five days of the extended New Jersey bear hunting season, hunters have killed 487 bears, state officials said.

The season continues through Saturday for hunters using bow and arrows and muzzleloaders and has the potential to surpass the 510 total bears killed during the entire 2015 season before the state’s firearms bear hunt in December.

Hunters were permitted to use only bow and arrows during the first three days of the extended hurt. Hunting with muzzleloaders is also permitted from Thursday to Saturday.

 Pedals the walking bear feared dead as hunt continues

Pedals the walking bear feared dead as hunt continues

Social media accounts saying Pedals was brought by a hunter to a check station on Monday prompted a DEP response

Fifty-five bears were killed on Thursday, according to figures released by the state Department of Environmental Protection Saturday morning.

The county-by-county totals through Friday:

  • Sussex County – 249
  • Warren County – 86
  • Morris County – 85
  • Passaic County – 52
  • Hunterdon County – 13
  • Bergen County – 2

Bow and arrows were allowed in the bear hunt this year for the first time since the late 1960s, DEP officials said.

Five bear hunting zones are open to hunting in Bergen, Hunterdon, Mercer, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex and Warren counties. Saturday is the last official day of the archery and muzzleloader season.

More information on the bear hunt is available on the DEP’s bear hunting season website.

N.J.’s first extended bear hunt starts Monday

http://www.nj.com/morris/index.ssf/2016/10/extended_bear_hunting_season_starts_on_monday.html

By Justin Zaremba   | NJ Advance Media for NJ.com The Star-Ledger

October 09, 2016

The extended hunting season for the New Jersey bear hunt will start on Monday to coincide with deer season.

Hunters with valid bear hunt permits and hunting licenses will be able to hunt bears using bow and arrows from Oct. 10 to Oct. 12, and using both bow and arrows and muzzleloaders from Oct. 13 to Oct. 15, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

Bear mauling on Admiralty Island injures Kentucky hunter

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A Kentucky hunter was taken to a Juneau hospital early Friday morning after being mauled by a brown bear in Southeast Alaska, according to Alaska State Troopers.

The U.S. Coast Guard transported Douglas Adkins, 57, of Jenkins, Kentucky, Friday morning from Admiralty Island, south of Angoon, troopers wrote in a dispatch.

His injuries are not life-threatening, according to troopers.

Around 8:30 p.m. Thursday, a Juneau-based big game guide and Adkins, whom troopers described as a client, were returning from a brown bear hunt to the beach at Chaik Bay when they came across a brown bear a short distance away. The two were using headlamps, troopers wrote.

The brown bear was startled and attacked Adkins. After a short while, the bear backed off and left the area, troopers said.

It was dark and the incident happened quickly, wrote Alaska State Trooper spokeswoman Megan Peters.

A crewmember from their vessel, Sultana, notified the Coast Guard Sector Juneau command center at about 11:30 p.m. Thursday that a bear had mauled a member of their hunting party and that the man had “multiple puncture wounds,” the Coast Guard wrote in a release.

The Coast Guard arrived around 2 a.m. Friday and took the injured man to a Juneau hospital, where he remained Friday, said Ryan Scott, regional supervisor for the Department of Fish and Game’s wildlife conservation division in Douglas.

Scott said the two people were armed but didn’t fire any shots at the bear.

Few additional details were available Friday afternoon. Fish and Game had yet to speak with the mauling victim, Scott said.

The department will only attempt to locate and kill a bear if a mauling was not defensive, Scott said.

Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission To Vote On Yellowstone Grizzly Hunting Regulations

Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission To Vote On Yellowstone Grizzly Hunting Regulations

The Montana Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet today to decide on potential huntingregulations for Yellowstone area grizzly bears.

The vote comes as state wildlife agencies draft management plans ahead of a planned proposal to delist Yellowstone grizzly bears from the Endangered Species List.

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, besides hunting regulations, the commission will vote on a three-state agreement to establish guidelines for divvying up bears in the Greater Yellowstone Area.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service announced earlier this year they hope to delist Yellowstone grizzlies from the Endangered Species List by early next year. Each Yellowstone state must draft a plan regardless of whether grizzlies are delisted or not. Under the agreement, hunting would only occur if the USFWS successfully makes its case for delisting. Wyoming Game and Fish approved their grizzly plan just yesterday.

Grizzlies were previously delisted in 2007 but reinstated several years later after a federal judge ruled (in a case brought against the USFWS by environmental advocates) that the agency had failed to consider the impacts of climate change on the bears’ long term survival. From the Chronicle:

Opponents of delisting dispute the notion that Yellowstone’s grizzly bears are thriving and say that allowing hunting could send the population into a decline. Some have also called for a buffer zone between hunting districts and Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks.

USFWS’ delisting proposal includes a limit on the number of bears allowed to be killed within a 19,279-square-mile area that includes Yellowstone National Park and parts of Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. The limits are population based, and would rule out any discretionary kills if the population dips below 600.

The USFWS is expected to make a final decision on lifting protections for the bears next year but is requiring that all three states draft hunting rules before that happens. Idaho and Wyoming have both unveiled their plans.

Montana’s proposal would create seven hunting districts near the borders of Yellowstone National Park from Interstate 15 east to the border of the Crow Indian Reservation. It includes measures meant to protect females and young bears from being taken by hunters, like banning the shooting of bears in groups.

Quotas based on what share of the allowed mortality Montana gets would also be implemented. Under the three state agreement, Wyoming would get 58 percent of the harvest, Idaho 8 percent and Montana 34 percent.

FWP representatives have said that even in the event of a hunting season, the quota would be consistently low —fewer than ten, sometimes zero if the population hews closer to 600.

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Florida wildlife commission postpones bear hunting in 2016

http://www.treehugger.com/conservation/florida-wildlife-commission-postpones-bear-hunting-2016.html

Max Carol
Science / Conservation
June 24, 2916

Black bear sow with cub

Public Domain Neal Herbert

After a controversial hunt last year, Florida officials spare the bears.

In 2015, Florida held its first bear hunt in over 20 years. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) considered the hunt to be a necessary tool for curbing Florida’s growing black bear population, but the hunt did not go exactly as planned. FWC sold 3,776 hunting permits, and its 2015 Summary Report shows that 304 bears were killed in just two days. Although hunters did not exceed the overall statewide harvest objective of 320 bears, bears were over-hunted in two of the four designated hunting regions, referred to as Bear Management Units. In the East Panhandle, 114 bears were killed despite a harvest objective of only 40 bears, and in Central Florida, 143 bears were killed instead of the expected harvest of 100 bears.

Furthermore, despite regulations that bears with cubs could not be targeted, FWC allowed both male and female bears to be hunted. Controversy arose when the commission discovered that a majority of the bears killed were females and that of those females, 21% were lactating. FWC justified these statistics, stating that most bear cubs would be at least 8 months old at the time of the hunt and that orphaned cubs are generally able to survive on their own at that age.

After a controversial hunt last year, the commission has spent the past several weeks debating whether or not to hold another hunt in 2016. Many animal-rights activists and conservationists oppose bear hunting, arguing that it puts black bear populations in danger. The Florida black bear was considered an endangered species until 2012, and opponents of the hunt worry that progress might be reversed if hunting is promoted.

Those in favor of the hunt argue that bear populations need to be controlled as there are 4,350 black bears in Florida today, compared to several hundred in the 1970s when the species was first declared endangered. With this rise in population also comes a rise in bear-human conflict. According to The Palm Beach Post, the number of bears killed by vehicles has increased sevenfold from 1990 to 2015. In addition, only 99 phone calls concerning bears were made to FWC in 2000 as compared to a staggering 6,094 phone calls in 2015.

On Wednesday, FWC heard addresses from over 80 people concerning the hunt. After several hours of deliberation, the commission voted to postpone black bear hunting for the rest of the year by a slim margin of 4-3. In a news release on the agency’s website, Nick Wiley, the executive director of FWC, explained the decision.

Although hunting has been demonstrated to be a valuable tool to control bear populations across the country, it is just one part of FWC’s comprehensive bear management program. I am proud of our staff who used the latest, cutting-edge, peer-reviewed science to develop a recommendation for our Commissioners to consider. Our agency will continue to work with Floridians, the scientific community and local governments as our focus remains balancing the needs of Florida’s growing bear population with what’s best for families in our state.

With the anti-hunt vote now finalized, FWC has promised to employ purely nonlethal methods of reducing bear-human conflict this year. Using its budget of $825,000, the commission hopes to promote bear safety programs in communities statewide, including the addition of bear-proof trashcans in areas that are particularly affected by the animal. The agency recently hired additional staff members who focus on bear management and has also funded scientific studies on Floridian bear populations. The commission will hold another vote in 2017 to determine if bear hunting should be reintroduced next year.

Death at Yellowstone: Feds probe shooting of ‘Scarface,’ the park’s most famed grizzly

The Washington Post
Karin Brulliard

 

There are more than 750 grizzly bears in and around Yellowstone National Park, but none as famed as a brawny, cocoa-colored male dubbed No. 211.

He was best known by his nickname, which was inspired by his fight-maimed face and damaged right ear: Scarface. He roamed far, wide and often within sight of delighted tourists and their cameras. He was captured, collared and released by biologists 17 times, making him “one of the most studied bears,” in the region, according to the Associated Press.

By last fall, those scientists were warning that Scarface might not make it through the winter: He’d dropped from a peak of 600 pounds to 338 pounds. At 25 years old, he was elderly.

[Cubs of a euthanized grizzly that killed a Yellowstone hiker will get a new home]

They were right that his time was short. But Scarface didn’t die of natural causes. Last week, the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks department released a statement that said No. 211 had been fatally shot in November near Gardiner, Mont., just outside Yellowstone’s northern edge.

FILE - In this Oct. 2005, file photo provided by Ray Paunovich shows a well-known Yellowstone National Park grizzly bear known as "Scarface." Montana wildlife officials have confirmed that the grizzly bear was shot and killed during a confrontation with a hunter north of Gardiner last fall.© Ray Paunovich via AP, File FILE – In this Oct. 2005, file photo provided by Ray Paunovich shows a well-known Yellowstone National Park grizzly bear known as “Scarface.” Montana wildlife officials have…

The bear’s death is now under investigation by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, because grizzly bears are protected under the Endangered Species Act, and most killings not carried out in self-defense are illegal. The Montana state agency offered no details about the the killing or why it was not announced sooner, and a Fish and Wildlife representative contacted by the Washington Post declined to comment.

The killing of the famous bear is sure to fuel opposition to recent Fish and Wildlife proposal to remove federal protections for grizzly bears in the so-called Greater Yellowstone Area, which could lead Montana, Idaho and Wyoming to approve their hunting. Grizzlies were declared threatened in the 1970s, when hunting, trapping and other issues caused their population to decline to less than 150.

Federal officials say the bears’ population has recovered, but many conservation and wildlife organizations are fighting the proposal. The Sierra Club, for example, has said “bears’ naturally slow reproductive rate, loss of key food sources to climate change, and state plans to reduce numbers through methods like trophy hunts, all spell disaster.”

[These undercover robot animals are helping in the hunt for poachers]

Scarface’s killing is being widely mourned among those familiar with the bear, who’d earned a reputation as an unflappable “king of the woods,” in the words of Kerry Gunther, Yellowstone’s bear management program leader, who spoke to the AP shortly before the bear’s death.

 

Scarface was first captured in 1993, when he was a “sub-adult” bear weighing 150 pounds. At his peak, the bruin tipped the scales at about 600 pounds, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks. But he’d grown emaciated in recent years, the agency said, noting that less than 5 percent of male grizzlies live to the age of 25.

Scarface owed much of his fame to the scuffles with other bears over females, carcasses and dominance that had made his face so recognizable, and that had so destroyed his right ear that it flopped over. Photographers, in particular, have sung his praises — and, in recent days, angrily mourned his loss.

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“I’ve seen him almost kill a black bear for getting too close to his carcass in Antelope Valley and I’ve seen him barely bat an eyelash at people who find themselves far too close,” nature photographer Simon Jackson of Ghost Bear Photography wrote on his blog two years ago, adding that he’d seen the bear 20 times over the years. “There is no one animal that has inspired me like Scarface nor any animal that has played such a profound role in defining the person I’ve become.”

Last week, as news of the bear’s death spread, Jackson’s blog published another post. “Our emotions alternate between shock, sadness, anger and a profound sense of loss,” Jackson and fellow photographer Jill Cooper wrote, urging people to campaign against the proposal to de-list the grizzly bear. “Nothing will bring back our beloved Scarface, but we can still do right by the many bears he fathered and all of the bears that shared the landscape he once roamed.”

Sandy Sisti, a wildlife photographer who blogs at Wild at Heart Images, once wrote a paean about seeing “Yellowstone’s Grand Old Man” in all corners of the park and watching as he grew more scarred over the years.

More: http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/death-at-yellowstone-feds-probe-shooting-of-%e2%80%98scarface%e2%80%99-the-park%e2%80%99s-most-famed-grizzly/ar-BBsxLOg?ocid=spartandhp