CURRENT FINDINGS IN BC: Pacific Wild
May 3, 2016
by Pacific Wild
As far as we are concerned, when a new 2016 Great Bear Rainforest land-use order was legally established on January 28, 2016, the Heiltsuk Tribal Council won quote of the year with these eloquent words: “We are grateful for a step down the right path. It is the first of many miles yet to walk.”
As the grizzly bear trophy hunt is kicking off across the province, we want to address a key misconception of the Great Bear Agreement, one that marks the many miles yet to walk: that the agreement protects the great bears:
Trophy hunting of bears is supported by the B.C. Liberal Government in the Great Bear Rainforest ‰ÛÒ even in protected areas and parks.
With the exception of the B.C. government’s press release and statements, no part of the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest Agreement is dedicated to ending the trophy hunt of grizzlies or black bears. Adding insult to injury, the faint effort made to “end” the grizzly hunt applies to a minority of the trophy hunting that actually happens in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Injury: Nothing Has Changed For Grizzlies
The comment made by officials was that the “commercial grizzly hunt will cease in Coastal First Nations traditional territories.” This was designed to give the impression that by signing this agreement the government had catalyzed a major shift in the trophy hunting of grizzlies when, in actuality, they had done nothing.
In fact, Coastal First Nations had declared a ban on the trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest back in 2013. The government has not respected the ban, so since declaring it, First Nations have raised millions of dollars to buy-out commercial hunting rights in guide-outfitting territories owned exclusively by individuals or companies.
The government’s commitment to “cease” the hunt is minimal, and is essentially only a promise to not interfere as First Nations continue to spend millions buying out commercial licences.
To be clear, the provincial government is not changing hunting regulations and will not make any investment in the buyouts.
Instead, First Nations and allies have to continue buy-outs and trust the government won’t undermine their work.
Insult: Commercial Trophy Hunt = Minority Of The Hunt
In the Great Bear Rainforest, approximately 60% of grizzlies are killed by B.C. resident hunters (the “residential hunt”) and 40% are killed by non-residents on guided hunts (the “commercial hunt”). Officials announcing the new Great Bear Rainforest Agreement stated it will end only the commercial hunt and passed over any mention of the resident trophy hunt, which accounts for the majority of grizzly bear trophy kills.
Today, 91% of British Columbians (rural and urban) want the grizzly bear trophy hunt to end – regardless of whether it’s a resident doing the hunting or not.
All the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement did bear-wise was confirm that the B.C. government doesn’t care what First Nations or the general population think about the grizzly bear trophy hunt.
Say Something Before The Election!
This time next year, British Columbians will be gearing up to go to the ballot box and thankfully 91% of the province – rural or urban – opposes grizzly bear trophy hunting. Between now and the election, tell your elected representatives you want a government that cares about our wildlife” one that will use policy, legislation, and funds to ban trophy hunting in B.C. once and for all.
Take Action Now. Send a message to the BC government voicing your opposition to the trophy hunt – our form letter makes it easy.
Tell big business to do its part. Air Canada and WestJet have banned the transport of big game out of Africa, but continue to allow the transport of Canadian animal ‘trophies’, such as black bears, grizzly bears, polar bears and wolves. Tell them to take a stand against trophy hunting in their own backyard.
Donate. Financially support the education and research that inspires people worldwide to help protect this coast. Donate today.
*re-posted with permission from http://pacificwild.org