Hunting for grizzly bears

Written by  //  June 26, 2008  //  Biodiversity, Canada, Public Policy  //  1 Comment

Ian McAllister photo

By Andrew Findlay

(Georgia Straight Magazine) More and more foreigners are paying top dollar for the opportunity to see a magnificent grizzly in the wild. British Columbia, though, still permits the sport killing of an animal that is highly evocative of what remains of our wilderness and is regarded as a keystone indicator of ecosystem health. Last year, a record-setting 430 grizzlies died for sport, for animal control, or from poaching, yet the complex science used by government to establish hunting quotas remains at the heart of one of the most controversial wildlife-management issues in Canada. That’s why environmentalists, First Nations, and bear-viewing companies believe the province is risking international shame over the hunting of grizzlies, considered by the federal Species at Risk Act, the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada, and the B.C. Conservation Data Centre to be a species of special concern.
A recent public-opinion poll that says most British Columbians—73 percent—want the provincial government to end the hunt is adding fuel to the controversy. The poll was commissioned by Pacific Wild, a nonprofit group started last year by Ian McAllister after his split from the Raincoast Conservation Society, an environmental group he helped found more than 15 years ago.

“I think the results of this poll are pretty compelling,” says McAllister, who, in his fight to end sport hunting of grizzlies on the central coast, spearheaded a successful $1.35-million buyout of a guide-outfitter’s coastal hunting licence. “Ending the sport hunt will have a positive spinoff for a whole range of other species, and it’s the least we can do for grizzly bears.”

Armed with the results of the poll, conservationists, First Nations, and grizzly-bear-viewing operators plan to turn up the pressure on government to halt the hunt, arguing that bears are worth more alive than dead, that most people don’t support the hunt on ethical grounds, and that the science underpinning the hunt is weak. Full article

Links from Pacific Wild


Both proposals making their way through system even though they cannot co-exist under 2006 conservation agreement

BC government failing to protect canadian great bear rainforest

Massive developments planned for rainforest; ‘Premier Gordon Campbell is completely going back on his promise to protect this coast,’ conservationist says of Great Bear plans

Needed: A good blueprint for Ottawa’s green dollars

One Comment on "Hunting for grizzly bears"

  1. pat July 16, 2008 at 9:25 am ·

    The experience of a lifetime is grizzly hunting. Grizzly hunting in the heart of BC is not for any hunter. This hunt is a “spot n’ stalk” and is for the more fit hunter who can continue the long stalking process. This area is full of different critter along the way and it is not uncommon to land a black bear or 2 during the grizzly hunt. BC grizzly hunting is a a dream hunt in the most beautiful place in the world.

Comments are now closed for this article.