Comment: Why not a complete ban on grizzly hunting?

JUDY MALONE / TIMES COLONIST

OCTOBER 15, 2017 12:58 AM

I recently had the pleasure of visiting grizzly-bear country, inside the traditional Bute Inlet territory of the Homalco Nation.

Deep in the dense forest, with impossibly massive bears fishing the shores of a salmon-packed river, it was a page out of National Geographic. We saw nine grizzlies, including a female with her spring cubs, and a newly independent juvenile gamely trying to catch his lunch.

I come to see family and friends in your province often. I also come, as do so many from around the world, to see iconic wildlife in their natural settings.

Many of us deeply concerned for threatened wildlife were impressed when the people of B.C. made trophy hunting of grizzlies an election issue. When the new NDP government promised to end it, we looked forward to seeing that promise delivered quickly. The ban would be precedent-setting, with far-reaching implications. In a post-Cecil-the-lion world, people everywhere are agreeing that we will no longer tolerate the relentless killing of animals for what some people call sport.

Instead, the promised B.C. ban was both inexplicably delayed until after a full fall hunt season, then when delivered was incomplete. It was and is critically compromised by allowing the killing of grizzlies for meat. Safari Club International has actively interfered in this matter since the campaign for the ban began, even calling on rank-and-file members to crash and load media opinion polls and comments. But the reality is that while U.S. trophy hunters and local outfitters are angered by this ban, it is all too clear they see it as interference, and not as an end to the killing.

Your government has both dismissed science and insulted public intelligence by stating the hunt is sustainable and the ban was only in response to a shift in public attitudes. In a classic example of ethical doubling, Premier John Horgan once agreed grizzlies are struggling to survive habitat disruption and loss, and need our full protection.

Once elected, he then promptly announced a trophy hunt ban with a meat-hunt loophole big enough to drag a grizzly through. But the fact is that few Canadians hunt grizzly at all, and fewer still — if any — hunt grizzly for meat. Now, of course, many seem to have developed an appetite, or so they claim.

A public consultation period was announced, through Nov. 2. But the consultation is about how to manage the meat hunt, not if there should be a meat hunt. Now our media are headlining the results of a second poll. It shows what people asked for before the election and what they still want, is a complete ban. No hunting for trophy, for meat, no killing of any grizzly for any reason.

It shows something else. The public has been consulted and the answer is loud and clear. British Columbians and all Canadians are the key stakeholders on this issue. The people who elected your government want a complete ban. Polls have found that 91 per cent of British Columbians and 84 per cent of Albertans, including those living in rural areas, oppose trophy hunting.

There is no question these numbers would play out across Canada and elsewhere. It would certainly be tough to come up with another issue on which 80 to 90 per cent of people polled would agree.

A new report has told us that more than half of Canada’s wildlife species are dying off at an alarming rate. Trophy hunting is unethical, insupportable and an easily eliminated threat. Canadians and tourists stand with the citizens of B.C. We demand and expect the NDP government to oppose the killing of any grizzly for any reason.

 

Judy Malone of Toronto is a frequent flyer to British Columbia, and founder of Tourists Against Trophy Hunting, an international coalition of conservationists, ecologists, travellers, travel agents, writers and bloggers.

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Opinion: Only ban on all grizzly hunting will ensure the slaughter ends

Opinion: Only ban on all grizzly hunting will ensure the slaughter ends

Grizzly bear No. 122 feeds on a moose carcass in 2013.

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Last month, a hunter shot and killed a female grizzly bear after she wandered from Alberta into neighbouring B.C., where grizzly trophy hunting is still legal. Bear 148 was moved in July from the Bow Valley just outside Banff National Park to Kakwa Wildland Park, closer to the B.C.-Alberta border. According to the B.C. Conservation Service, the hunter who shot Bear 148 was well aware that the bear was wearing a research tracking collar but killed it anyway, which isn’t illegal.

Bear 148 wasn’t the first grizzly from a neighbouring jurisdiction to be killed by hunters after entering B.C. In 2014, a hunter near Golden legally killed Bear 125, which was part of a monitoring program in Banff National Park, after it travelled from the Upper Bow Valley in Alberta across the continental divide to B.C.’s Upper Blaeberry Valley. As with Bear 148, killing Bear 125 in B.C. was legal, even though both bears came from a highly threatened population in and around Banff National Park. Alberta banned grizzly-bear hunting in 2006, but in B.C., resident and foreign hunters legally kill about 300 grizzlies every year.

That hunters in B.C. can kill bears from Alberta, or other neighbouring jurisdictions like Montana, after they step to the other side of the border reveals how ineffectual our wildlife policies are for species that roam across vast areas of territory. Grizzlies don’t recognize political borders. They have huge ranges that extend well outside parks and protected areas. This puts them at great risk of encountering not just hunters but other threats, such as confrontations with people at townsites or workers’ camps in remote areas.

Polls show that most B.C. residents oppose trophy hunting of grizzlies. And many First Nations have banned the practice in their territories. The trophy hunt was even a major issue in the recent B.C. election. Now in government, the NDP has announced a plan to end all grizzly hunting in B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest, but to allow a regulated “food hunt” of grizzly bears in place of the trophy hunt elsewhere.

A food hunt wouldn’t prevent the killing of “protected” transboundary grizzlies. Although no one legitimately hunts grizzlies for meat, such a policy has a built-in loophole that would allow recreational hunters to kill grizzlies as long as they surrender the animal’s head, pelt, claws, teeth and other “trophy” items to a government official and/or remove the meat from the carcass and pack it out. These proposed changes to hunting regulations are semantics. Grizzly bears will continue to suffer pain and deaths at the hands of hunters, regardless of whether hunters hand the head, pelt, paws, teeth and claws to a government bureaucrat after killing the animal, or keep them to be stuffed and mounted on a wall or made into a rug. We remain concerned that recreational hunters could continue to kill grizzlies under the guise of food hunting.

Grizzlies have already lost over half of their historical range in North America because of habitat loss and earlier periods of over-hunting. South of the border, the Trump administration has removed protection under the Endangered Species Act for a threatened grizzly population in the Greater Yellowstone Region, and several U.S. states have begun the process to allow grizzly-bear hunting again.

We commend the B.C. government’s commitment to stop grizzly hunting throughout the Great Bear Rainforest, as it will finally ensure that the iconic namesake of this vast coastal region will be fully protected. And while we appreciate the B.C. government’s desire to end grizzly-bear trophy hunting throughout the province, the proposed food-hunt policy fails to address significant conservation and ethical problems with the grizzly hunt. Only a ban on all grizzly hunting will ensure that the slaughter ends.

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. Faisal Moola is the foundation’s director general for Ontario and northern Canada. Chris Genovali is executive director of the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.

Wyoming sets next steps for grizzly control

By Angus M. Thuermer Jr. October 4, 2017

The Wyoming Game and Fish Department plans to propose its plans for grizzly bear management — including potential hunting seasons — by April, the state’s chief game warden said Tuesday.

With newfound authority over Ursus arctos horribilis following its removal from the federal threatened species list this summer, Game and Fish will begin canvassing the state in November, to gauge citizens’ sentiments regarding the bear, Brian Nesvik said. Delisting gives Wyoming the ability to enact hunting seasons within federal limits.

Nesvik said the department will approach the public input process “not with any preconceived ideas or a proposal, but just with a kind of open mind.

“We would like to … go out and talk to Wyoming folk and hear what they want to see with grizzly bear management,” he told WyoFile. “Then, after we hear from folks, go to round two where we develop some proposals and take them back out again for some additional feedback.”

The first outreach is scheduled for regional meetings in the second half of November and the first week of December, he said. Proposals — which could include hunting seasons — would emerge for public comment in January.

The goal would be to put a plan in front of the Wyoming Game and Fish Commission for its April meeting, during which it typically acts on changes to hunting and other regulations, Nesvik said.

The chief warden said he hopes “science and the desires of the public can come together to do the best thing for the future of the grizzly bear.” But, he cautioned, “some people might be disappointed.”

“There isn’t anything we make decisions on or manage in this state that has an absolute consensus,” Nesvik said.

Federal limits would apply to hunting

As a precondition to delisting the grizzly bear in the Yellowstone ecosystem, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service required Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho to agree on a memorandum of understanding that would limit the total annual human-caused bear mortality —  including from hunting — and split the total number of authorized deaths among the three states. The MOU would allow Wyoming the bulk of the so-called “discretionary” mortality quota, at 58 percent. Montana would get 34 percent and Idaho 8 percent.

Exact numbers would be determined annually, based on grizzly population numbers, sex and age classifications, and other factors.

A Game and Fish Department review of grizzly bear activity in Wyoming in 2016 shows that 22 grizzlies were killed of the 40 captured for conflicts. Those euthanized were killed for “a history of previous conflicts” or “a known history of close association with humans.” Several were killed for being “unsuitable for release into the wild.” Those included orphaned cubs, bears in poor physical condition, or bears that caused worries about human safety. One death was inadvertent.

http://www.wyofile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Griz-conflict-captures-2016.jpg

The bears captured for conflicts with people or property in 2016 tended to be on the fringes of occupied bear country. The red border circles the primary conservation area, the black surrounds the demographic monitoring area. There were 40 conflict captures in 2016, Game and Fish reported. (Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

There were 223 “conflicts” between grizzlies and people, a category that ranges from attacks by bears — there were four people injured — to eating apples and chickens. Most of the conflicts occurred on the edges of bear country, according to the report of 2016 activity.

Grizzly bear delisting in the Yellowstone ecosystem represents “a huge success story,” said Dan Thompson, the Game and Fish large carnivore section supervisor. With restoration of the species in the ecosystem came “just an overall expansion of bears…the overall distribution of grizzly bears,” he said.

Debate continues regarding whether the expansion of occupied grizzly country is due to more bears or changes in the environment that drives them to seek meat — like livestock — farther from their core habitat. Regardless of the cause, “we’re starting to see potential conflicts with people,” Thompson said.

In fiscal year 2015, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department paid $457,516 for livestock and other property losses from grizzly bears, according to department data. The agency continues to wrestle with depredation by bears and to compensate ranchers for damage. The agency publishes a weekly grizzly bear update for those interested in keeping up.

The department spent an average of $2.06 million on grizzly bear conservation between FY 2012-2016, Thompson said. That includes a host of activities, from capturing to relocating, tracking, counting and so on.

Two lawsuits challenge Yellowstone delisting

Conservation groups sued after Yellowstone-area grizzlies came off the threatened species list this summer. Two complaints focus on the government’s decision to delist the Yellowstone population of bears while other populations remain in peril.

The future of Yellowstone bears themselves is uncertain, the suits contend. That’s in part because of climate change that critics say is driving bears farther from the core of the ecosystem as traditional food sources disappear.

Read a WyoFile story about worries regarding grizzly hunting

One suit pits the Northern Cheyenne tribe, Sierra Club, Center for Biological Diversity, and the National Parks Conservation Association against U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke and colleagues. The Alliance for the Wild Rockies, Native Ecosystems Council, and Western Watersheds Project filed another action.

“The [U.S. Fish and Wildlife] Service acknowledged that grizzly bears have shifted to meat in response to the decline in whitebark pine; that more bears die due to human conflicts during years of poor whitebark pine production; and that human-bear conflict mortality has spiked in recent years,” the Northern Cheyenne and their fellow plaintiffs contend. “But the Service did not address or evaluate the logical conclusion arising from these facts: that is, grizzly bears’ shift to meat has brought bears into more frequent contact with hunters and livestock and, therefore, caused the recent upsurge in mortality.”

http://www.wyofile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/Griz-rangeGF-maps.jpg

Game and Fish illustrates expansion of grizzly range with these maps from 2010 and 2016. Debate continues regarding the reason for bears expanding their territory. Regardless, wildlife officials say chances for conflicts increase, conflicts they seek to diffuse with their Bear Wise Wyoming program. (Wyoming Game and Fish Department)

The Alliance and its co-plaintiffs made a similar claim. Conservationists have also complained, although not specifically in the lawsuits, that authorities have established boundaries where grizzlies will be tolerated based in part on social tolerance or acceptability. They say that interjects political bias into what’s supposed to be decisions based on science.

Game and Fish seeks to increase social tolerance, and support for grizzly bears in general, through an 11-year-old program called Bear Wise Wyoming, Thompson said. “It’s so vital to management of large carnivores,” he said.

In the parlance of bureaucracy, Game and Fish is “creating a social conscience regarding responsible attractant management and behavior in bear habitat.” Bear Wise seeks to raise awareness, reduce access to things like food and garbage, and educate people about both grizzly and black bears.

http://www.wyofile.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/BearWiseLOGO-Model-1-300x232.jpg

Game and Fish brands its Bear Wise Wyoming program with this logo.

Among the efforts undertaken by the program have been the free give-away of hundreds of cans of bear spray to licensed hunters. In Cody last year the effort was supported by Wyoming Outdoorsmen, Bow Hunters of Wyoming and Yellowstone Country Bear Hunters Association, Game and Fish said. One hundred cans of spray were given away in less than an hour.

A similar event in Jackson last month saw a line of some 30 or more hunters waiting before the 8 a.m. give-away began. With the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, Game and Fish also has installed more bear-proof food storage boxes in campgrounds.

Game and Fish also seeks to protect those who travel into bear country as part of their job. It put on a workshop last year titled “Working Safely in Bear Country” in Park County that targeted national forest employees, among others.

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Game and Fish admits there is some resistance in sharing ground with grizzlies, including in the Wapiti and Pinedale areas. There, Game and Fish says, efforts are hampered by the lack of ordinances, regulations and laws, by seasonal residents, and by scant community organizations. Another factor is “decreased public tolerance for grizzly bears due to record numbers of human-bear conflicts and continued federal legal protection,” the report for 2016 said.

Game and Fish said it would announce the schedule of the November and December meetings soon.

Poll suggests majority of British Columbians support complete ban on grizzly bear hunt

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
– A A +

A new poll suggests three-quarters of British Columbians think grizzly bears should not be hunted in this province at all.

The online survey, conducted by Insights West, found 74 per cent of the over 800 participants said they would support a ban on hunting grizzly bears, while 19 per cent are opposed.

Over 800 people responded to the study across the province, including several self-described hunters, 58 per cent of whom said they would support a ban.

The survey was held for three days at the end of August, two weeks after the B.C. government banned trophy hunting of grizzly bears. A residential hunt is still allowed under the new ruling.

READ MORE: Roughly 75% of rural British Columbian voters oppose grizzly bear trophy hunt: poll

The study found 78 per cent of women across B.C. support a complete ban on the hunting of grizzly bears. The area of the province with the most support for a ban was Vancouver Island, with 81 per cent of residents there voting against the hunt.

Eighty-one per cent of people who voted for both the NDP or the Green Party in the B.C. provincial election in May are in support of the ban, while residents aged 35 to 54 make up the age group that supports a ban the most, with 79 per cent.

READ MORE: B.C. NDP plan to ban grizzly bear trophy hunt

“With so many residents who believe grizzlies should not be hunted at all, there is definitely appetite for more action” beyond the government’s trophy hunting ban, Mario Canseco of Insights West said.

Province to consult on grizzly regulations

The poll comes as the province announces a round of public consultation on its new grizzly hunting regulations, to take effect Nov. 30.

Earlier this summer, the new NDP government announced plans to ban trophy hunting, which would close all grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest, and would block hunters from possessing the paws, head or hide of a grizzly.

Hunting for meat is still permitted.

In a media release, the Ministry of Forests Lands and Natural Resources said it now wants input on five areas related to the new rules:

  • 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.

British Columbians looking to weigh in can find out more here, and make comment until Nov. 2.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

38 SIGNATORS SAY GRIZZLY ‘MEAT’ HUNT IS A TROPHY HUNT IN DISGUISE

New Denver, BC – Thirty-eight environmental and animal welfare organizations, along with wildlife-based businesses and prominent activists, have signed an Open Letter to the BC Government…

opposing the continuation of grizzly bear hunting for meat. “The BC government is planning to end trophy hunting of grizzly bears, but will allow them to be hunted for meat across most of the province, except for part of the Great Bear Rainforest,” says Ian McAllister of Pacific Wild.  “We are asking for a complete ban on hunting grizzly bears all over BC.”

The Open Letter says there has never been significant hunting of grizzly bears for meat in BC. “Previously grizzly bears were classified by BC Fish & Wildlife with non-game animals such as wolverines, wolves and cougars,” says Alan Burger of BC Nature. “Hunters were specifically allowed under law to leave the meat on the ground and take only the trophy parts. Many British Columbians are appalled that the government has now invented a grizzly bear meat hunt.”

“People don’t 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 Open Letter states.  “They largely do it only for trophies and sport.  Even if they have to leave the head, hide and claws behind, they take away trophy videos, photographs and bragging rights. The bears will still be killed for sport”.

The Open Letter disputes the BC government’s claim that hunting grizzly bears is sustainable. “Grizzly bears are a species at risk,” says Wayne McCrory, a bear biologist and Valhalla Wilderness Society director. “For years independent scientists have warned the government that BC may have far fewer grizzly bears than we think”.

“We have thriving grizzly bear viewing and photography businesses in the Interior, just like on the coast,” says famed Kootenay wildlife photographer, Jim Lawrence. “People are thrilled to see these magnificent animals alive and in photographs.

“Stop the Grizzly Killing Society receives comments from many hundreds of people,” says Trish Boyum, who has campaigned tirelessly to protect grizzlies. “It is clear that British Columbians want a total ban on killing grizzly bears across BC, except where they would be hunted by some First Nations People for sustenance and ceremonial purposes.”

“Collectively, our organizations, which represent the majority of British Columbians, 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. This is a very critical conservation issue in our province and we have an opportunity to do it right.,” says Dr. Sara Dubois, Chief Scientific Officer of the BC SPCA.

The open letter can be downloaded at: http://bearmatters.com/lettertocgovtopposinghuntinggrizzlybearsformeat/

38 Signators:
• Animal Advocates of BC
• Animal Alliance of Canada
• Animal Justice
• Animal Protection Party
• Applied Conservation GIS
• BC Nature
• BC SPCA
• Bears Matter
• Canadians for Bears
• Clayoquot Action
• Craighead Institute
• David Suzuki Foundation
• DeerSafe Victoria
• First Nations Environmental Network
• Friends of the Lardeau River
• Friends of Nemaiah Valley
• George Rammell Grizzly bear activist
• Great Bear Chalet
• Humane Society International/Canada
• Justice for B.C. Grizzlies
• Kootenay Reflections Photography
• Kwiakah First Nation
• West Coast Wild Art Co.
• Lifeforce Foundation
• Ocean Adventures Charter Co.
• Ocean Light II Adventures
• Pacific Rainforest Adventure Tours
• Pacific Wild
• Purcell Alliance for Wilderness
• Save the Cedar League
• Steve Williamson Photography
• Stop the Grizzly Killing Society
• The Furbearers
• Tourists Against Trophy Hunting
• Valhalla Wilderness Society
• Wildlife Defence League
• Wolf Awareness Incorporated
• Zoocheck Canada

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, virtually all grizzly bear hunting has been trophy hunting, except for First Nations ceremonial / sustenance hunting (which we do not oppose). Many hunters find the meat unpalatable. Grizzly bears were previously included by BC Fish & Wildlife with non-game animals such as wolverines, wolves and cougars. In the past, 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=

British Columbians Support Ban on All Grizzly Bear Hunting

October 3rd, 2017 

Nine-in-ten welcome the provincial government’s decision to ban trophy hunting of grizzlies in the province.

Vancouver, BC – Three-in-four British Columbians believe no grizzly bears should be hunted in the province, a new poll by Insights West conducted in partnership with Lush Cosmetics and the Commercial Bear Viewing Association has found.

In the online survey of a representative provincial sample, 74% of British Columbians are in favour of banning all grizzly bear hunting in the province, while 19% are opposed.

The highest level of support for banning all hunting of grizzly bears in British Columbia is observed among women (78%), residents aged 35-to-54 (79%), Vancouver Islanders (81%), BC New Democratic Party (NDP) and BC Green Party voters in the 2017 provincial election (81% for each) and non-hunters (75%).

In addition, almost three-in-five self-described hunters (58%) are in favour of banning all grizzly bear hunting in British Columbia.

The Government of British Columbia recently banned trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the province. This decision is backed by almost nine-in-ten British Columbians (88%), including 69% who “strongly” support it.

The survey was conducted at the end of August, two weeks after the government’s announcement. The decision allows a residential hunt to continue.

Our polling has shown that British Columbians have consistently been opposed to trophy hunting, so the level of support for the government’s decision is not surprising,” says Mario Canseco, Vice President, Public Affairs, at Insights West. “Still, with so many residents who believe grizzlies should not be hunted at all, there is definitely appetite for more action.”

“With such strong results from British Columbians, we believe that the government can go further and ban all hunting of grizzly bears across the province,” says Tricia Stevens, Charitable Giving Manager at Lush Cosmetics. “Scientists, bear viewing operators, conservationists and now even hunters are agreeing it’s time to protect this iconic species for once and for all.”

“The government has taken a good first step, but this poll reiterates the fact that the vast majority of British Columbians want to see an end to all hunting of grizzly bears, whether for trophies or meat,” says Julius Strauss of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association’s Political Committee and owner of Grizzly Bear Ranch. “It’s time to respect that wish. Some worry that such a ban will cost BC money, but the reality is that bear-viewing is worth far more to the province than grizzly hunting.”

Across the province, 11% of residents describe themselves as hunters. The animals that have been hunted the most are deer (65%), moose (51%) and elk (30%).

About Insights West:

Insights West is a progressive, Western-based, full-service marketing research company. It exists to serve the market with insights-driven research solutions and interpretive analysis through leading-edge tools, normative databases, and senior-level expertise across a broad range of public and private sector organizations. Insights West is based in Vancouver and Calgary.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from August 27 to August 30, 2017, among 817 adult residents of British Columbia. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in British Columbia. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.5 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty. View the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Tricia Stevens
Charitable Giving and Ethical Campaigns Manager, Lush Cosmetics
604-418-4787
tricia@lush.com

Julius Strauss
Political Committee, Commercial Bear Viewing Association
250-505-4166
julius@grizzlybearranch.ca

Mario Canseco
Vice President, Public Affairs, Insights West
778-929-0490
mariocanseco@insightswest.com

https://insightswest.com/news/british-columbians-support-ban-on-all-grizzly-bear-hunting/

Father and son hunting black bears nearly killed by grizzly

http://nypost.com/2017/09/28/father-and-son-hunting-black-bears-nearly-killed-by-grizzly/

A father and son hunting black bears in Montana were nearly killed by a grizzly after they suddenly found themselves just 12 feet away from the beast, wildlife officials said.

The unidentified father and his adult son were hiking through “steep slopes and thick vegetation” near the Hungry Horse Reservoir in the northwestern portion of the state Sunday when they came upon the grizzly bear, according to Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks officials.

“The bear charged at them and attacked the son,” the agency said in a statement released Wednesday. “They saw the brush moving 25 to 30 yards away, but did not see the bear until it was about 12 feet away.” 

The 250-pound female grizzly bear then grabbed the younger hunter’s right arm at the elbow, prompting the man’s father to shoot the bear to get the animal off his son.

“The bear released, and the father shot again,” state wildlife officials said. “The father shot the bear one more time, at very close range, as the bear turned toward him.”

The agency’s Human Attack Response Team responded to the scene later Sunday and found the dead female grizzly nearby. Investigators determined that the animal was roughly 12 years old and was in good condition prior to the killing.

“This was an unmarked bear with no known management history,” wildlife officials said in a statement. “Even though no young bears were visible, [investigators] stated that the bear’s behavior prior to the attack was indicative of a defense of young attack and the bear was attempting to reduce the potential threat to her young.”

Based on the bear’s condition, state wildlife officials believe the bear was not a lactating female, meaning she was most likely accompanied by at least one young bear up to 2 years old.

Neither man was carrying bear spray at the time of the attack, according to FWP officials, who reminded hunters to carry the deterrent as bears are now actively feeding in preparation for winter. The father is in his 60s, while his son is in his 30s, the Billings Gazette reports.

FWP Warden Chris Crane said doctors will now monitor the man’s injuries for infections.

“That’s something you really have to watch out for in cases like these,” Crane told the newspaper.

Bear 148 hunter knew bear was wearing tracking collar before kill

‘This was a legal hunt and no investigation is underway,’ says B.C.
Conservation Officer Service

The Canadian Press Posted: Sep 28, 2017 3:56 PM MT Last Updated: Sep 28,
2017 6:07 PM MT

Bear 148, seen here in an undated handout photo, was killed Sunday in the
McBride region of British Columbia by a hunter with a guide.
<https://i.cbc.ca/1.4225888.1501252790!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/de
rivatives/16x9_620/bear-148-profile-20170727.jpg>

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0406> Famous Banff-area grizzly killed by hunter in B.C.
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hunting
*
<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/bear-148-relocated-grizzly-1.4229459>
Bear 148 moved from Bow Valley to remote area north of Jasper

The hunter that killed a notorious female grizzly bear in B.C. after the
bear wandered into the province from Alberta knew the animal was wearing a
research tracking collar but shot it anyway.

The Alberta government had moved the grizzly, known as Bear 148, in July
from its home range in a popular developed area west of Calgary to a remote
park north of Jasper to protect public safety.

.
<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/bear-148-killed-by-hunter-in-bc-1.431
0406> Famous Banff-area grizzly killed by hunter in B.C.

The grizzly, which is a threatened species in Alberta, hadn’t hurt anyone
but had gotten too close to people too many times around the Canmore and
Banff area.

The B.C. Conservation Officer Service said the bear was shot on Sunday in
the McBride region by a non-resident hunter who was with a guide.

“The guide and hunter knew that the bear was collared prior to harvest,” the
service said in an email. “This was a legal hunt and no investigation is
underway.”

According to B.C.’s hunting and trapping guide, hunters are advised to not
avoid shooting tagged or collared animals, unless specified, to ensure
biologists get accurate data on mortality rates.

Hunters who kill a tagged animal are asked to report it.

No information on the hunter was given.

Bear closures
<https://i.cbc.ca/1.2684960.1506555569!/fileImage/httpImage/image.jpg_gen/de
rivatives/original_620/bear-closures.jpg>

Last month, B.C. announced it would end the grizzly bear trophy hunt as of
Nov. 30, saying it is inconsistent with the values of most British
Columbians.

Brett Boukall, a senior wildlife biologist with Alberta Environment, said
data from Bear 148’s tracking collar suggests the grizzly had not been a
problem before it was killed.

“It was kind of being the perfect bear doing bear things away from people,”
he said. “To my knowledge, there had been no reports of any conflicts.”

After the bear was relocated in July, it wandered around its new range in
the northern Alberta wilderness.

Bear crossed into B.C. Friday

The tracking data suggests it crossed into B.C. on Friday after a storm
dumped snow in the region, perhaps making it more difficult for it to find
food, Boukall said. It was wandering toward the Fraser River when it was
shot.

“Myself and my colleagues felt disappointed that this has occurred, but at
the same time recognized that this is something that is a part of being a
bear in today’s busy landscape with the ability for legal harvest on the
B.C. side,” he said.

Conservationists are concerned about the death of Bear 148, which was
nearing the age to have cubs.

* MORE BEAR NEWS |
<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/griffith-woods-park-grizzly-park-clos
ure-wednesday-1.4310724> ‘If the bear wanted me . I’m the bear’s lunch’:
Jogger comes close enough to touch grizzly in Calgary park

Candace Batycki of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative said the
fact the bear had to be relocated from its home range in the highly
developed Bow Valley west of Calgary shows how difficult it is for grizzlies
to survive.

Batycki said more must be done to protect them.

“Bear 148 was not in a protected area when she was killed but she was in
grizzly bear habitat,” she said. “Her death highlights the need for
collaborative cross-border conversation between B.C. and Alberta.”

Bear death a case of bad timing

Alberta Environment Minister Shannon Phillips called the death of Bear 148 a
case of bad timing.

“The new government has not moved forward with their regulations yet because
they are new and the grizzly hunt remains legal across the border in British
Columbia.”

There are about 700 grizzly bears in Alberta. It has been illegal to hunt
grizzlies in the province since 2006.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/bear-148-tracking-collar-hunter-kill-1
.4312369

<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/bear-148-tracking-collar-hunter-kill
1.4312369>

<http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/bear-148-tracking-collar-hunter-kill
1.4312369> Bear 148 hunter knew bear was wearing tracking collar before kill

http://www.cbc.ca

The hunter that killed a notorious female grizzly bear in B.C. after the
bear wandered into the province from Alberta knew the animal was wearing a
research tracking collar but shot it anyway.

Miley Cyrus joins call to close ‘loophole’ on grizzly bear hunt in B.C.

Popstar Miley Cyrus is back in B.C. politics, this time joining the call for a full ban on grizzly bear hunting.

This follows a decision from the BC NDP to stop the contentious grizzly bear trophy hunt in the province while allowing hunting for meat to continue.

READ MORE: Miley Cyrus visits B.C. to discuss wolf cull

But Cyrus, along with local conservation group Pacific Wild, says hunters are using that as a “loophole” and claiming they are hunting for food.

The campaign was released on Tuesday and it features the voice of the artist singing a chilling version of Teddy Bears’ Picnic over footage of an empty forest.

“Last year 300 grizzly bears were killed in B.C., let’s end the hunt before they’re gone,” reads the text at the end of the video.

WATCH: BC Greens says NDP plan to end trophy grizzly hunting isn’t a true ban

The Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations has estimated there are 15,000 grizzly bears in B.C., and that about 250 are killed each year.

“The grizzly bear is the second slowest reproducing land mammal in North America, one that’s threatened throughout much of its natural range and habitat,” said Executive Director at Pacific Wild, Ian McAllister, in a release.

READ MORE: B.C. NDP government stopping contentious grizzly bear trophy hunt

The statement says over 90 per cent of British Columbians want to see a complete end “to this barbaric hunt.”

The ban on trophy hunting will take effect on Nov. 30.

This isn’t the first time Cyrus has been involved with a campaign in B.C., back in 2015 while on a trip to B.C.’s Great Bear Rainforest, she spoke out against the province’s controversial wolf cull.

Cyrus asked her Instagram followers to sign a petition to stop the killings, gathering thousands of signatures.

Guide outfitters question trophy hunt ban

http://www.squamishchief.com/news/local-news/guide-outfitters-question-trophy-hunt-ban-1.22666395

New restrictions to the hunting of grizzlies leave hunters frustrated and confused

JOEL BARDE , PIQUE NEWSMAGAZINE / SQUAMISH CHIEF

guide outfitters association says that the province’s ban on hunting grizzlies for sport doesn’t make sense.

“It’s not about the bears,” said Scott Ellis, executive director of the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC).

Ellis said that the ban — which will still allow for the hunting of grizzlies so long as the hunter harvests the bear’s meat — is about bowing to public opinion and the “whims of radicals,” rather than preserving grizzly bear populations.

Ellis said that the grizzly population in B.C. is stable, at around 15,000 bears, and that the current hunt is sustainable. “We’re seeing more bears in higher density, and we’re seeing bigger bears, and we’re seeing bears where we’ve never seen them before,” he said, adding that an average of two per cent of the total population — 300 grizzlies — is killed on an annual basis.

The B.C. government already has “robust” measures to ensure that grizzly populations remain strong, said Ellis. It only allows hunting in areas where the population of grizzlies can handle it. “(The B.C. hunt) is one of the most highly controlled hunts on the planet,” he said.

In a Monday, Aug. 14 interview with CBC News, Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development (MFLNRO) Minister Doug Donaldson said that “it’s not a matter of numbers. Society has come to the point in B.C. where they are no longer in favour of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.”

The trophy hunt ban will come into force on Nov. 30. The government is also banning grizzly hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest altogether.

In that Aug. 14 interview, Donaldson also said “Hunters will no longer be able to possess the hide or the head or the paws of the grizzly bear… there’s not going to be any loopholes.”

The statement has led to confusion for hunters. Ellis fears that now hunters will be required to leave those parts at the scene of the kill. Under the current system, hunters must show their kills to conservation officers, who in turn ascertain important information, he explained.

“We’re not going to know whether we’re shooting males or females,” he said. The policy, he added, could also put hunters in danger, as they will have to skin the animal then and there, even if they are pressed for time. In response to follow-up questions sent to the MFLNRO, Donaldson said the government wanted to announce the ban to make it clear that this fall’s trophy hunt would be the last.

“The specifics of what will happen to the bear parts will be determined through the consultation process to be launched this fall,” Donaldson said in an emailed statement.

“We think it is important for all those who are interested in our wildlife resources to have a say in wildlife management, so we will be engaging in a collaborative process, to hear from First Nations and stakeholders about the implementation.”

Ellis feels that the new rules are politically motivated and are designed to discourage the hunting of grizzlies altogether. He feels they reflect a major divide between rural and urban B.C.

“I get that Vancouver don’t like seeing a bear shot,” he said. “(But) you can’t pick a particular species and say we’re going to put it on a pedestal. I think that’s poor wildlife management.”

Housing developer and philanthropist Michael Audain — who serves as chairman of the newly formed Grizzly Bear Foundation — said that he doesn’t think the ban goes far enough.

“We don’t feel that any grizzly hunting is wise or necessary. It’s not wise because the species faces enormous threats. If we don’t adopt policies more conducive to the bears, in another generation, there may be very few left in our province,” he said.

Grizzly bears used to roam all over the continent, he said. “(But) they’ve been persecuted like vermin and eradicated from much of North America.”

Closer to home, Johnny Mikes — field director of the Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative — said that the trophy-hunting ban makes no difference to grizzly populations in this part of British Columbia.

Hunters are already prohibited from hunting grizzlies in southwest British Columbia, he explained. That’s because levels of grizzlies in the area are precariously low, he added.

“We don’t talk about the hunt,” said Mikes, when asked about whether he is in favour of an outright ban on hunting grizzlies. “We need to talk about how we help endangered species to come back, because in southwest B.C., that’s the issue.”

Mikes said Coast to Cascades is pushing for a “management plan for each threatened population in the coast to cascades region that ensures populations will recover.”

The organization is also calling on government to inhibit the development of valley bottoms to ensure that grizzly habitat is not fragmented.

“It’s important that people don’t feel complacent. There are populations in southern B.C. that could disappear, even though the hunt has been curtailed,” he said.