Raincoast to purchase fourth commercial hunting tenure
SIDNEY, BC – Raincoast Conservation Foundation, with the support of Coastal First Nations, has struck a deal to buy a fourth trophy hunting licence in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. The exclusive commercial licence covers an area of more than 2,300 square kilometres of rich habitat for large carnivores, including grizzlies, black bears, Spirit bears, wolves, cougars and wolverine. The campaign to raise the required $500,000, which includes the purchase price, starts today.
Raincoast’s fourth license purchase follows years of controversy over the trophy hunting of large carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest (GBR). The acquisition also comes as the provincial government is poised to announce details regarding the implementation of a ban on grizzly hunting in the GBR.
“Purchasing the remaining commercial trophy hunting rights in the Great Bear Rainforest, coupled with the province’s ban on grizzly hunting, is a significant step towards our goal of ending all large carnivore trophy hunting on the coast,” said Brian Falconer, guide outfitter coordinator for Raincoast. “This next hunting tenure that Raincoast is acquiring contains some of the most prime habitat for bears and wolves in the GBR and indeed in the world.”
Raincoast’s acquisition of this tenure will ensure a permanent end to all commercial trophy hunting in some of the most spectacular watersheds on BC’s coast. The sale guards against future shifts in government policy that could reverse the ban on grizzly hunting while also ensuring that trophy hunting interests cannot continue the recreational hunting of black bears, wolves, cougars or wolverine.
Raincoast applauds the move by the BC government to end the killing of grizzly bears in the GBR, and welcomes their commitment to a new approach to wildlife management in the long term. Raincoast also looks forward to active participation in the development of that strategy.
“Few places in the world match the Great Bear Rainforest for wildlife viewing opportunities,” said Chris Genovali, executive director for Raincoast. “Trophy hunting and wildlife viewing are not compatible uses. Trophy hunting threatens the growth and viability of a burgeoning coastal ecotourism industry; allowing it to continue does not make economic sense.”
“We view this cutting edge initiative as part of a larger effort in creating a conservation economy on the central coast in which protection of wildlife and wildlife habitat supersedes exploitation and extraction,” said Doug Neasloss, elected chief of the Kitasoo/Xai’xais First Nation. “Ending trophy hunting of large carnivores supports our community’s significant investment in wildlife viewing and eco-tourism.”
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