By Wendy Stueck, The Globe and Mail, April 3, 2016.
VANCOUVER — B.C.’s spring grizzly bear hunt has opened for another year, with the government authorizing a limited number of bears to be killed in parts of the province – including the Great Bear Rainforest.
That authorization exists despite an announcement in February in which the provincial government heralded a “globally significant” management pact for the Great Bear Rainforest and said, as part of the deal, that “the commercial grizzly bear hunt will cease in Coastal First Nations’ traditional territories.”
But even with the Feb.1 announcement, there are still licensed guide outfitters who have operating agreements in the Great Bear Rainforest – which means their clients could be hunting in the region this month.
“They announced the end of the commercial trophy hunt … but what they neglected to say is that they [the government] have done nothing to make that happen,” said Brian Falconer, marine operations program co-ordinator with the Raincoast Conservation Foundation. “That only happens if we and Coastal First Nations together raise the millions of dollars it will take to buy these commercial licences out.”
In B.C., guide outfitters hold tenures or hunting territories that cover thousands of kilometres and include hunting rights for that area. Non-resident hunters are required to hire a guide outfitter to trophy hunt in B.C., while residents can enter a draw to win the chance to hunt a grizzly.
Conservation groups would like to see the Great Bear Rainforest off limits to bear hunters from both B.C. and outside the province…
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