On May 3rd, Jeff Lawrence, Digital Content Producer with CTV, met with Nicholas Sinclair and Brian Falconer of our Guide Outfitter team. They filed their story Wednesday, May 3, 2017 6:32PM PDT.
A Victoria-based conservation group has B.C.’s grizzly hunt in its crosshairs – hoping a new type of eco-tour will help put an end to the controversial practice for good.
The Raincoast Conservation Foundation is readying the 20-metre research vessel “Achiever” as it prepares to offer photographic tours deep in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.
While photographic tours of the province’s iconic grizzlies are nothing new, the foundation says all four trips it’s offering this year will be strictly by donation.
“We’re taking guests up there to hunt bears with cameras,” said Nicholas Sinclair, marine operations coordinator with Raincoast. “It really gives them a chance to view these animals in their pristine habitats.”
But it’s the donations that are helping limit the grizzly bear hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest.
At a minimum suggested donation of $5,000 a pop, money from the tours is helping the foundation snap up guiding rights away from trophy hunters.
So far, Raincoast has purchased guiding rights for 32,000 square kilometres along B.C.’s Central Coast.
“We’re purchasing the exclusive guiding rights over large territories, and we’re partnered with coastal First Nations on this in order to gain control of the commercial hunting, non-residents of B.C. coming to kill grizzly bears for trophies,” said Brian Falconer, a guide outfitter coordinator with Raincoast.
The guiding rights require tour operators to go on hunts, but Falconer said with a smirk “our hunts haven’t been, to this point, successful.” B.C.’s current government sanctions limited hunting, and grizzly bears aren’t considered endangered in Canada.
But Raincoast hopes its new revenue stream will mean more land for bears and less for hunters. “The message is pretty simple,” said Sinclair. “These bears are worth more alive than they are dead.” Trips aboard the “Achiever” will be offered in spring and fall, and will each last about nine days, according to Raincoast.
See the interviews on CTV.
Become a Raincoaster
Giving to Raincoast enables you to protect what you love most.
For 25 years, Raincoast has been furthering biodiversity conservation in BC. Thanks to your generous donations, among many other accomplishments, we have been able to end commercial trophy hunting of large carnivores in over 38,000 square kilometers of the Great Bear Rainforest, begin acquiring forest land in order to protect threatened Coastal Douglas-fir ecosystems, aid recovery of endangered Southern Resident killer whales by restoring Chinook salmon habitat, and establish a university research lab dedicated to applied conservation science. Strong partnerships are integral to our success.
Our efforts need to be maintained and advanced, now more than ever. As the biodiversity and climate crises collide, your support allows us to continue to make tangible conservation gains.
Biodiversity protection is the most important gift we can give the next generation. Join us as a Raincoaster today!