Congress Rolls Back Obama-Era Rule On Hunting Bears And Wolves In Alaska

A pair of brown bears play in a pond at the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center in Portage Glacier, Alaska, in 2009.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

By a largely party-line vote Tuesday, the Senate approved a bill that repeals Obama-era hunting restrictions on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The House already voted last month to abolish those restrictions — which were instituted by the Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016 to protect predator species from hunters — and so the bill now heads to the desk of President Trump, who is widely expected to sign it.

The FWS rule facing repeal explicitly prohibited many kinds of “predator control” on the 16 federally owned refuges in Alaska. That prohibition included a ban on the aerial hunting, live trapping or baiting of predators such as bears and wolves — as well as killing those predators while near their dens or their cubs.

Alaska Rep. Don Young, the Republican sponsor of the bill passed Tuesday, says these restrictions represented federal overreach.

“Not only does this action undermine Alaska’s ability to manage fish and wildlife upon refuge lands,” Young said, “it fundamentally destroys a cooperative relationship between Alaska and the federal government.”

Republican Sen. Dan Sullivan, also representing Alaska, echoed those concerns Tuesday, saying the restrictions changed the state’s relationship with FWS “from one of cooperation to subservience,” The Associated Press reports.

“This rule is about Alaska,” he said.

Others, like Democratic Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington, were not convinced.

“This isn’t about states’ rights,” she said, according to the wire service. “It’s not about prohibiting hunting. … It’s about how we can manage these wildlife refuges to the degree that agencies believe are necessary for the preservation of these wildlife heritage areas.”

As the Alaska Dispatch News points out, this debate gets to the core of a long-running dispute:

“At the heart of the disagreement between state and federal wildlife managers is what each group thinks should guide its purpose. The federal government has argued that the goal on refuges and in parks should be biodiversity. The state Board of Game has an interest in ensuring maximum sustained populations for hunting.”

Ensuring the “maximum sustained populations” of commonly hunted prey species like elk, moose and caribou often means reining in the populations of their predators — namely, bears and wolves. In the 2016 restrictions, federal regulators argued that the Alaskan Board of Game had gone too far in prioritizing the populations of prey species over predators.

It was an argument pursued by several Democratic senators, including New Jersey’s Cory Booker, and environmental groups who were opposed to the rollback.

“This isn’t hunting — it’s slaughter,” Brett Hartl, government affairs director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement. “Killing wolves and bears in this cruel, unsportsmanlike fashion is outrageous, especially in national wildlife refuges that belong to all Americans.”

He added: “Repealing these protections also undermines the critical role predators play in healthy ecosystems.”

Still, Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) says these objections come from activists unfamiliar with Alaska, where “state management of fish and wildlife is practically sacrosanct.”

“Opponents will allege that the repeal of this rule will legalize brutal predator control practices,” Murkowski said, according to the Dispatch News. “The Senate should know that it is already illegal for hunters to use certain practices — gas against wolves, traps to bears. You can’t do this in national wildlife refuges in Alaska.”

In working to repeal the FWS rule, Republican lawmakers turned again to the Congressional Review Act, a measure they also used to great effect last month in rolling back another Obama-era regulation.

As we explained then, the CRA is a means to review and cancel regulations issued in the final days of an outgoing administration: “The move allows the Senate to proceed with a simple majority, thus enabling GOP senators to avoid a filibuster by Democrats.”

A savage attack on predators

https://www.abqjournal.com/969229/a-savage-attack-on-predators.html

WASHINGTON – In its zeal to repeal, the U.S. House of Representatives recently voted to overturn a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule forbidding the baiting, trapping and “denning” of bears and wolves in Alaska’s national wildlife refuges.The Senate is poised to consider the resolution as soon as next week.

Distilled to its essence, Alaska’s politicians want to reduce bear and wolf populations so hunters will have more moose and caribou to kill. Alaska’s full congressional delegation – Rep. Don Young and Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan (all Republicans) – is behind the push.

Arguing for passage of H.J. Res. 69, Young told of entering wolf dens and killing mother and pups back when he worked as a bounty hunter of predators. Presumably, this was intended to impress his fellow legislators, as are his office walls, which are bedecked with animal trophies.

This isn’t an anti-hunting column. I’m on record supporting humane hunting for food, and I recognize that without hunters, many of whom are ardent conservationists, many wetlands would have been drained for commercial development. This is a plea for common sense, compassion and conservation. What are wildlife refuges, after all, if not refuges for wildlife?

The underlying so-called principle behind the resolution is the GOP’s promise to reduce job-killing regulations. While zealous regulation has led to some corporate outsourcing – and responsible tweaks can be made here and there – not one job is protected nor one dime saved by overturning the wildlife agency’s rule.

One could even argue that Young’s move is anti-business. Alaska’s greatest resource second only to oil is tourism. People go to Alaska to hunt but also to visit the parks and see the animals. Watching animals, in fact, brings Alaska more tourism dollars than hunting does, according to Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game.

The sheer savagery of what would become lawful if the Senate falls prey to its companion resolution (S.J. Res. 18) should give pause to anyone with a heartbeat.

Hunters could scout grizzlies from the air and then be deposited on the ground to kill them. (Aerial shooting is still forbidden.) They could hunt wolves during denning season, either shooting a mother wolf, thus dooming her babies, or entering the den and killing all, frequently with gas. Hunters could also bait, trap or snare, causing an agonizing death usually exacerbated by freezing temperatures. The traps are steel-jawed. A snare is a wire that wraps around an animal’s neck, then tightens as it pulls away.

These enhanced methods would target animals at their most vulnerable, in other words, and cause maximum suffering for no tenable reason. Moreover, artificially reducing the number of predators winnows down diversity essential to a healthy ecosystem, which can lead to unintended and disastrous consequences.

Of hunters, one must ask: Where is the sportsmanship in all of this? To Young and his like-minded colleagues, such a query is beside the point. Ultimately, they say, this is a states’ rights issue. There it is, the love Republicans can’t quit. In fact, no law grants state land managers authority to overrule federal land managers’ decisions related to federal land – for good reason.

Without the National Park Service, we might have had mining in the Grand Canyon, noted Wayne Pacelle, president and CEO of the Humane Society of the United States (where my son works), in a telephone interview. “Without federal protections, what’s to stop Wyoming from authorizing hunting grizzlies in Yellowstone?

“States’ rights simply don’t apply when you have a federal category of lands authorized by Congress,” he said. “This is really our Serengeti.”

As a humane matter, there’s no defending House Joint Resolution 69. As a regulatory issue, it defies logic. As an economic concern, protecting wildlife from cruel hunting practices makes sense.

Senators should vote to leave the protective rule in place – not only to protect our wildlife from politicians’ predatory practices but also to reassure Americans that the chamber still has a conscience.

Congress Advances Legislation to Kill Wolves, Bears in Alaska — Bill Would Repeal Protections on National Wildlife Refuges

http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2017/predators-02-16-2017.php

For Immediate Release, February 16, 2017

Bill Would Repeal Protections on National Wildlife RefugesCongress Advances Legislation to Kill Wolves, Bears in Alaska

WASHINGTON— The House of Representatives today used the Congressional Review Act to strip away protections implemented during the Obama administration for wolves, bears and other predators on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. By eliminating these protections, the House measure greenlights killing wolves and their pups in their dens and allows bears to be gunned down at bait stations.

“Rolling back protections for predators defies everything wildlife refuges stand for,” said Emily Jeffers, an attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity. “Refuges are places where we celebrate biological diversity, not where wolves and bears are inhumanely killed for no good reason. It’s an outrage that Congress would revoke rules that stop the senseless slaughter of predators, heedless of the important role these animals play in healthy ecosystems.”

In August 2016 the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service finalized regulations that protected predators from new predator-control tactics approved by Alaska’s Board of Game. These tactics include killing black bear cubs or mother with cubs at den sites; killing brown bears over bait; trapping and killing brown and black bears with steel-jaw leghold traps or wire snares; killing wolves and coyotes during denning season; and killing brown and black bears from aircraft.

Alaska’s predator control activities are intended solely to artificially inflate prey populations, such as moose, for human hunting. House Joint Resolution 69, citing authority under the Congressional Review Act, would undo all those protections.

“This action is yet another extremist assault on the environment by certain members of Congress,” Jeffers said. “This bill has no scientific support and would dismantle rules that ensure wildlife refuges help conserve our natural heritage for future generations. We will do everything in our power to fight this mean-spirited attack on these magnificent animals and stop it from becoming law.”

The Service’s predator-protection regulations are also under attack from the state of Alaska, which is challenging the regulations in federal court. The Center and its allies have intervened on behalf of the Service to defend the challenged regulations.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.2 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

Bill Would Allow Killing Of Bears And Wolves Again On Alaska Wildlife Refuges

Republican Fatwa

by Stephen Capra

We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender.Winston Churchill

The election that could not happen has occurred. Republicans were handed a miracle victory by the caliph known as Trump whose singular purpose appears to be the destruction of democracy. Like Jim Jones, the rogue minister who famously had his entire flock drink poisoned Kool-Aid, Trump has his sights on the destruction of America and the world as we know it. But it’s not Trump alone, it is the raging force of evil that defines the Republican Party and their hate and loathing for the freedom that is our natural world. With this unimaginable victory, they now will set their sights as Ronald Reagan, Bush one and two did, but with a zeal that we have likely never witnessed on the destruction of wildness. We must build the trenches and fortify our souls, for this is a fight to the death for all we love and understand. It is a fight for our planets survival.

In the days since the implosion of the Democratic Party, we are beginning to understand our new reality through the fog of war, Republican operatives are moving quickly to get a cabinet in place and move their radical and devastating agenda into the mainstream.

Trump is moving with haste to remove America from the global agreement to limit climate change, calling climate change a hoax. In quitting the Paris agreement that has been ratified by close to 200 nations, America risks setting a new precedent and unraveling the very accord, which while not perfect, is the linchpin for saving the planet.

Cabinet specific:

Secretary of Interior: Lucas oil founder, Forrest Lucas has had the inside track. Lucas has paid for films that support puppy mills, elephants in circuses and would likely set the tone as an Oil Executive on the agencies priorities on climate change. Sara Palin (drill, baby drill!) has been a name many are talking about; Trumps sons, the elephant killers and gun lovers, have also been mentioned. If this occurs, Democrats MUST Filibuster the nomination and try and avoid cloture, which would require 60 votes. No nomination is more vital to our National Parks, Wilderness Areas, and Wildlife Refuges and for protecting wildlife than this choice. Frankly, Democrats should simply fight any appointment for the duration of this administration, taking a page from Republicans.

Energy: Trump is looking at fracking billionaire Harold Hamm who Trump greatly admires. He has made clear he wants an energy secretary that will slash regulations on energy producers and open more lands for development.
Department of Agriculture, which controls our National Forests, could be run according to Politico by one of two men: bio-fuels Baron Bruce Ramstetter, a close friend of Chris Christie, or Texas Agriculture Secretary Sid Miller who earned his credibility with Mr. Trump by calling Hillary Clinton a “cunt” on his twitter account during the campaign. He also gave amnesty to a cupcake to protest healthy food for school children. Trump has also created an Agriculture advisory committee. It includes as my fried Melissa Smith has pointed out, members like MI Sen. Mike Green, who said in a committee meeting on wolf hunting that, “he knows several people that have been eaten by wolves.” He went on to say-“Let’s get those public lands opened up to grazing, get rid of those predators now.”
Republicans will try to end the Environmental Protection Agency, remove endless regulations for Power Plants and destroy funding for alternative energy development, while handing out even more subsidies for coal, nuclear and oil. Climate Change will likely be ignored, treaties ignored and more misinformation will fill the airwaves to a nation of people increasingly removed from the natural world.

Republicans in the west, primarily Utah, Idaho and Wyoming will push for the selling off of public lands and move aggressively to end, once and for all, the Presidents use of the Antiquities Act, which has been responsible for protecting so many important land and marine environments since the days of Teddy Roosevelt. The reality is, they control all three branches of government and only the filibuster and tremendous public outcry can stop their rampage.
Trump has been elected in a unique and powerful manner. He is not in truth beholden to either party, but he needs the support of one to move his agenda. In two years when the party that does not control the Presidency often makes big gains in congress, Democrats must defend a staggering 25 Senate seats, many in states Trump won, making taking control of the Senate in 2018 difficult.

Rarely have we faced such long odds and the prospect of such damage to our sacred trust. While historically we have been able to fight off many of these assaults, republicans have learned from the days of Jim Watt and will likely come with an immense war chest, courtesy of the Koch Brothers, Big Oil and their friends in the coal and nuclear industries.

The conservation community must move aggressively and Democrats, including those 25 up in 2018 must hold firm, this goes beyond one person’s reelection, this is a fight for our children, a fight for sanity! Democrats have been far too timid on conservation issues, voting correctly, but doing so without the emotion, drive and confidence that show on a host of other domestic issues.

Wolves, bears and so many species that define wildness will be ground zero in the rancher’s wish list, look for funding for Wildlife Services to jump, a push to further control or denude the Bureau of Land Management. More illegal actions like the Bundys and threats to government control of public lands will likely come from fringe groups emboldened by the recent acquittals and Republicans fanning the flames of their illegal actions.

More than anything this band of Republicans, led by speaker Ryan, encased with the dreadful ignorance of Rep. Steve Pearce and his band of yahoos from the west must be crushed and publicly shamed in such a forceful manner, that they retreat from their continue assault on the liberty and beauty we all enjoy with our public lands and wildlife.

To see this as anything short of a declaration of war is to be blissfully ignorant. The actions of this congress and our newly elected President are designed to break the power and spirit of conservation in America. To hasten the demise of our planet and the many species which depend on our decisions for life. To turn wildness into roads, oceans into acid, to drown the great bears of the north, to fill more lands and waters with the suffering of animals that ask why?
The answer is to enrich a few, to poison the many, to ignore the obvious. We have elected a man who does not respect people and walks through life devoid of morality. How can we anticipate any more for the environment and the diversity it defines in his coming Presidency?

For the planet to survive, we cannot regress every four or eight years. We need both parties, not just one to embrace the environment. That is going to require a revolution in the republican party of today. Without it we are destine to repeat ourselves in cycles of destruction, which is the definition of insanity.

Trump has fooled us before and may again: I hope so. But the lineup he is creating is perhaps the most life-threatening for the planet we have witnessed. We as a nation have hit the bottom, so now we can begin the steady climb back up. We begin with an understanding that we must fight. All of us together for the land, the great animals that define our lives, for the freedom that is wildness and the planet we all cherish. Evil cannot win. But we must be strong, loud and demand justice if we are to prevail.

That is our fatwa for the earth.

So what can be done?

  • It begins with a coordinated and aggressive push to educate the public and to make the environment a key issue with the new Administration. That will not be easy given the array of disturbing issues we face with this President and congress;
  • Protest, often and loudly;
  • The use of the filibuster will be essential;
  • President Obama must take the last days of his Presidency to make the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge a new National Monument. Ditto for the Bears Ears in Utah. If he does not, the refuge in particular will be lost to oil and gas development, destroying what many call America’s Serengeti. He would also be wise to look at another marine environment that could be threatened by drilling;
  • Fight on a local level;
  • Visits to all members of congress and send strong words to Democrat members will be essential to make sure they do not “trade off” environmental concerns for other legislative initiatives;
  • Accept no compromise. These Republicans are trying to destroy our public lands, this is treason;
  • Demand more from the Media. It is not enough to show both sides, you must do the hard work of telling the truth to viewers, readers and listeners;
  • Become a voice for wildness;
  • Give until it hurts: we need support.

What will Bold Visions Do?

  • We are going to be the strongest voice possible to fight this Administration;
  • We will continue to get out to the public to educate them about the reality of a Trump Administration;
  • We will push the media and have our voice be heard;
  • We will continue to write and produce films that are thought provoking and work to protect our lands, waters and wildlife;
  • We will meet with elected officials to press for environmental and wildlife sanity;
  • We will continue to come up with creative ways to voice our opposition to the undermining of our wildest public lands;
  • We will work with other conservation groups in a unified manner to fight this battle;
  • We will never surrender.

A Win for Alaska Wildlife

03 August 2016

New rule from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service helps protect carnivores from aggressive hunting on national wildlife refuges in Alaska

Wolves, bears and other carnivores are too frequently threatened by government policies aimed at artificially increasing populations of moose, deer and other game species for hunting. In Alaska, even living on a national wildlife refuge could not prevent predators from being shot from a plane or killed in their dens in the name of boosting prey populations. Until today.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service stood strong for iconic wildlife today with a new rule to conserve native carnivores on national wildlife refuges in Alaska. The rule forbids certain aggressive hunting practices like aerial gunning, trapping bears, killing mother bears and cubs, and killing denning wolves with pups. These tactics have no place on the 16 federally protected wildlife refuges in Alaska, which exist first and foremost to conserve species in their natural diversity. This is a huge win that will help protect the ecological integrity of these public lands, and ensure that our national wildlife refuges are managed for all wildlife.

Stand Strong with FWS

Special interests in Congress are already advancing measures to block this important new rule. Show your support by telling FWS you stand with their decision to protect iconic predators by preventing these inhumane killings.

Show your support »

Carnivores are critically important to wild lands, and help keep ecosystems in balance. Alaska’s national wildlife refuges span more than 76 million acres and encompass some of the largest and most remote wildlife habitats remaining in the United States. These vast areas are ideal for wide-ranging and large animals like wolves and bears.

Anti-wildlife representatives in Congress and Alaska’s state government have been fighting this rule since it was first proposed in January, and will surely continue to do so. We commend the Fish and Wildlife Service for finalizing this important rule, which upholds bedrock environmental laws like the National Wildlife Refuge System Improvement Act and the Wilderness Act. This action sends a clear message that science, not politics, governs our public lands.

Ice melt forces polar bears into paths of Alaska schoolchildren

 

Trevor Hughes5 hrs ago
 
File - In this Feb. 15, 2016 file photo, snow-covered mountains are seen behind the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. The massive Alaska ice field that feeds Juneau's Mendenhall Glacier, a tourist attraction viewed by hundreds of thousands each year, could be gone by 2200 if climate warming trends continue, according to a new University of Alaska Fairbanks study.© (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, File) File – In this Feb. 15, 2016 file photo, snow-covered mountains are seen behind the Mendenhall Glacier in Juneau, Alaska. The massive Alaska ice field that feeds Juneau’s…WALES, Alaska — Melting ice off the coast of far-west Alaska is forcing polar bears onto the land, dangerously close to villages where children often walk unaccompanied across the snow-swept tundra.In these isolated communities, fears of a fatal encounter between stressed predators and the towns’ most vulnerable members have forced residents into action: they now train for polar-bear patrols.”Our main concern is the kids,” says Clyde Oxereok, 57, who leads the patrol in Wales, the most western town in the mainland U.S.

The problem is a lack of ice. Each winter, the narrow strait between Russia and the United States melts faster.The ice that does form seems weaker, more susceptible to breaking up. While that’s opened up new areas for oil exploration and opportunities for shipping through the Northwest Passage, it’s also destroying the habitat of the polar bears who hunt seal from that ice.

 

“The weather has changed a lot, and it has made the animals change their behavior,” said Oxereok, a ninth-generation resident of Wales.

Bears on land are easily distracted by towns — and the easy food.

“When you’re out on the ice, everything is white, so anything that’s not, you’re going to check out,” says Elisabeth Kruger, Arctic program manager for the World Wildlife Fund.  “And anything that could be food, you’ll try it,” she says.

Walking back to the snowmobile that carried her out to the frozen edge of the Bering Strait, Kruger stops to point out fresh polar bear tracks. Sometime in the past few days, a large bear walked down the ice in a path that paralleled both the ice’s edge and the front of the town a mile away.

Village elders say while there are fewer polar bears living in the area, they’re near town more often.

That’s a terrifying thought. Polar bears can be 10-foot-tall, weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds and willing to tangle with whales and walruses.

Now, with Kruger’s help, residents in Wales have created the Kingikmiut Nanuuq Patrol to monitor polar bears near their homes. They’ve learned how to “haze” the bears away from town with shotgun-fired noisemakers and pepper spray.

There’s pretty much no one else to call on in Wales. The town lacks any routine law enforcement presence. An Alaska State Trooper flies in for a few hours every so often to check up on the residents.

Other tribal communities might simply kill and eat any polar bears that come into their village. Polar bears are protected by federal law, but Inupiat hunters like those in Wales are allowed to kill some polar bears to maintain their traditional

WALES, Alaska — Melting ice off the coast of far-west Alaska is forcing polar bears onto the land, dangerously close to villages where children often walk unaccompanied across the snow-swept tundra.
In these isolated communities, fears of a fatal encounter between stressed predators and the towns’ most vulnerable members have forced residents into action: they now train for polar-bear patrols.

“Our main concern is the kids,” says Clyde Oxereok, 57, who leads the patrol in Wales, the most western town in the mainland U.S.

The problem is a lack of ice. Each winter, the narrow strait between Russia and the United States melts faster.The ice that does form seems weaker, more susceptible to breaking up. While that’s opened up new areas for oil exploration and opportunities for shipping through the Northwest Passage, it’s also destroying the habitat of the polar bears who hunt seal from that ice.    
   

“The weather has changed a lot, and it has made the animals change their behavior,” said Oxereok, a ninth-generation resident of Wales.

Bears on land are easily distracted by towns — and the easy food.

“When you’re out on the ice, everything is white, so anything that’s not, you’re going to check out,” says Elisabeth Kruger, Arctic program manager for the World Wildlife Fund. “And anything that could be food, you’ll try it,” she says.

Walking back to the snowmobile that carried her out to the frozen edge of the Bering Strait, Kruger stops to point out fresh polar bear tracks. Sometime in the past few days, a large bear walked down the ice in a path that paralleled both the ice’s edge and the front of the town a mile away.

Village elders say while there are fewer polar bears living in the area, they’re near town more often.

That’s a terrifying thought. Polar bears can be 10-foot-tall, weighing in at more than 1,000 pounds and willing to tangle with whales and walruses.

Now, with Kruger’s help, residents in Wales have created the Kingikmiut Nanuuq Patrol to monitor polar bears near their homes. They’ve learned how to “haze” the bears away from town with shotgun-fired noisemakers and pepper spray.

There’s pretty much no one else to call on in Wales. The town lacks any routine law enforcement presence. An Alaska State Trooper flies in for a few hours every so often to check up on the residents.

Other tribal communities might simply kill and eat any polar bears that come into their village. Polar bears are protected by federal law, but Inupiat hunters like those in Wales are allowed to kill some polar bears to maintain their traditional way of life.

Wildlife officer who spared bear cubs denied return to job

Featured Image -- 11003

http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/wildlife-officer-who-spared-bear-cub
Jeff Bell <http://www.timescolonist.com/authors?author=Jeff%20Bell> / Times
Colonist
April 20, 2016 06:00 AM

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Bryce Casavant’s actions last July came after the cubs’ mother was judged to
be too habituated to humans and was killed for twice raiding a freezer at a
Port Hardy-area home.
The decision not to kill the cubs led to Casavant’s suspension.
That sparked an online petition for his reinstatement that reached close to
310,000 supporters. The case attracted international attention, which
included comedian Ricky Gervais sticking up for Casavant via Twitter.
Casavant, 33, returned to work in late August in a different job at an equal
pay grade.
He said he and the government have reached an agreement that sees him become
a natural-resource officer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural
Resource Operations, while at the same time pursuing a PhD at Royal Roads
University.
“The province of B.C. is fully supporting me in my educational endeavours,”
he said.
The general duties of a natural-resource officer include enforcement and
patrol relating to resource-management laws, which can cover such areas as
the Wildfire Act, the Forest Act and the Water Act.
Casavant described the combination of work and school as “a different
direction.”
He said he accepted the consequences after the action he took with the cubs.
“Generally speaking, people are faced with difficult decisions every day in
their lives and I made one, and I was willing to be held accountable
professionally and legally for that decision,” he said. “This is now the
outcome of that.”
Casavant said his PhD research will focus on “the social aspects of conflict
wildlife.”
“I think there’s different social perceptions within society of predators,
and how that relates to the urban interface, how that shapes our prevention
and response measures,” he said.
“It’s not just conservation officers – you have a lot of police responding
to conflict wildlife throughout the province.”
The cubs, who have been named Jordan and Athena, were taken to the North
Island Wildlife Recovery Centre where they are doing well in the company of
other bears.
“It looks very positive,” said centre founder Robin Campbell.
Campbell said the pair will be released this year, likely in the summer or
fall.
“They’ll have transmitters on them so we’ll be able to follow them.”
jwbell@timescolonist.com

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