Grizzlies’ fate decided by anecdotes?

The Edmonton Journal
February 26, 2009
by Chris Genovali

Re: “Anecdotes about grizzlies not on par with science, groups say; Minister Ted Morton to weigh both sides in decision on hunt,” The Journal, Feb. 22.

How low will the Alberta government stoop to rationalize its continued refusal to adequately protect the province’s imperiled grizzly bears?

While U.S. President Barack Obama has pledged a return to science with regard to environmental policy, Canada seems to be regressing on that front with each passing day. In this emerging role reversal, could there be anything more irrationally George W. Bush-like than Sustainable Resource Development Minister Ted Morton’s declaration that anecdotal evidence from sport hunting interests is on par with a $2-million scientific study sponsored by his own government?

Raincoast has had disagreements with the B.C. government over grizzly bear population numbers in our province, but, to their credit, ministry officials here have never resorted to the kind of base anti-science argument that Morton is putting forward.

The fact is that you can kill bears quickly via trophy hunting or kill them slowly by denying them their life requisites through destruction of their habitat. The Alberta government has done virtually nothing to address thehabitat issue and with Morton’s current declaration they could be setting the stage to possibly retreat from the hunting moratorium as well.

Chris Genovali, executive director, Raincoast Conservation, Sidney, B.C.