New government moves BC into 21st Century by stopping the hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest

Consultation forthcoming on NDP plan to stop trophy hunting of grizzlies throughout the province.

A grizzly bear stands in the grass near the shallows of the Great Bear Rainforest, in Canada.

Photo by Michael Hoekendijk.

We are hailing today’s announcement by the NDP government to end the hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest as a solid step forward for wildlife management in British Columbia.

Raincoast has advocated an end to the trophy hunting of grizzly bears for more than two decades. Ending the grizzly hunt has been part of our work to protect the habitat and life requisites for grizzly bears and other large carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest.

“We commend the NDP commitment to stopping the hunting of grizzlies throughout the Great Bear Rainforest, as it will finally ensure that the iconic namesake bears of this vast coastal region will really be protected,” said Brian Falconer, guide outfitter coordinator for Raincoast.

“We welcome this announcement and extend our gratitude to the new NDP provincial government for taking such positive action on behalf of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest,” said Chris Genovali, executive director for Raincoast.

To de-incentivize the trophy hunt, all trophy parts would have to be surrendered.  Tweet This!

Raincoast looks forward to seeing the details regarding the government’s new policy in the Great Bear Rainforest. We anticipate working with the province and First Nations to acquire the remaining Guide Outfitting (hunting) territories, a purchase that will permanently end commercial trophy hunting for all large carnivores – grizzlies, black bears, wolves and cougars -in the Great Bear Rainforest.

This announcement recognizes and supports the non-extractive and sustainable economic activity of coastal wildlife viewing and eco-tourism. Bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest generates more than 10 times the revenue of grizzly hunting. This decision also acknowledges the convictions of 90% of British Columbians who oppose the killing of grizzly bears.

Will government require surrendering bear parts to the authorities?

Raincoast is reserving judgement regarding the accompanying “food hunt only” policy addressing the grizzly hunt in the rest of the province until more details are forthcoming. In order to ensure a so-called food hunt and de-incentivize the killing of grizzlies, all trophy parts of the bear, such as the head, the hide and the paws, would have to be surrendered by hunters to provincial wildlife authorities.

That said, virtually no one hunts grizzlies for food. Killing these bears is strictly a recreational hunt for trophies and “sport.”

A broader strategy for wildlife management

The province has also indicated it will be moving forward with a consultation process on a renewed wildlife management strategy for the province.

90% of British Columbians oppose the recreational killing of bears.  Tweet This!

The previous BC government recently proposed to privatize wildlife management by implementing an extra-governmental agency that would be controlled by recreational hunting groups. Such a move would only entrench an outdated paradigm of wildlife management that views wild animals as a “resource” to be exploited by recreational hunters or as troublesome creatures that need to be killed.

Instead, Raincoast advocates for a wildlife management policy that offers a significant shift from this -one that is based on management for wildlife, as opposed to management of wildlife, adopting practices that are more ecologically and ethically informed.

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