Sidney, BC: Raincoast Conservation Foundation is 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 over two decades. Ending the grizzly hunt has been part of Raincoast’s 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 extend our gratitude to the new NDP provincial government for taking this very positive action on behalf of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest,” said Chris Genovali, executive director for Raincoast.
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 that will end the commercial component of the trophy hunt for all large carnivores in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Raincoast is reserving judgement regarding the accompanying “food hunt only” policy for the grizzly hunt in the rest of the province until more details are forthcoming. “Ensuring a so-called food hunt, all trophy parts of the bear, e.g. the head, the hide and the paws, would have be surrendered by hunters to provincial wildlife authorities,” added Genovali. “That said, virtually no one legitimately hunts grizzlies for food, killing these bears is strictly a trophy hunt.”
This announcement is a recognition and support of the alternative, non-extractive, sustainable economic activity represented by coastal wildlife viewing and eco-tourism; bear viewing in the Great Bear Rainforest generates more than 10 times the revenue of grizzly hunting. It is also an acknowledgement of the wishes of 90% of British Columbians who oppose the killing of grizzly bears.