Call for proper grizzly management comes from conservation coalition
A conservation coalition is calling for the management of grizzly bears to put into the proper hands before the species is placed back into the cross hairs of endangerment.
A group of 55 environmental and animal care organizations, conservationists, scientists and nature-based businesses signed a joint letter to the Province in opposition of a recently-released plan that “would profoundly change the management of grizzly bears.”
Under the provincial plan, a system of local and regional wildlife advisory committees would be set up across B.C. and create separate grizzly bear management plans.
Revealed in a report called Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework, the paper outlines information on grizzly bears to be used by the committees to “increase the potential to realize locally desired outcomes for grizzly bears and their habitat.”
But it is the outcomes for the bears that has the coalition in contention.
“The intent of this program, to fragment grizzly bear planning among local and regional committees, composed largely of hunting, trapping, industrial and political interests, is inconceivably irresponsible … management of all our species at risk requires an independent, expert wildlife stewardship team that is dedicated to conservation of species across the province, on behalf of all British Columbians,” they wrote in a press release.
The coalition alleges that since grizzly bear trophy hunting was banned in the province in 2017, hunting organizations have been lobbying to reopen the hunt.
“The return of licensed hunting will clearly be on the table for the upcoming local and regional committees to consider,” the coalition contended. “Regulations for the conservation of wildlife have not always had the support of local vested interests, especially if a community wants to log or build a ski resort in nearby grizzly bear habitat.”
In a perfect world
Wildlife should be managed with a combination of conservation biology, and the moral and humanitarian values of a majority of British Columbians, noted the conservation coalition.
The coalition pointed to an open public process in 2017 when 78 per cent of respondents supported closing the licensed grizzly bear hunt. A poll conducted by Research Co. this month — sponsored by Pacific Wild — found 84 per cent of people across the province opposed sport or trophy hunting of grizzly bears.
“The coalition also is alarmed that after six years the province has not followed through on the auditor general’s grizzly bear report that recommended much more protection of grizzly bear habitat and is merely recommending more planning,” the press release noted.