Will a grizzly bear hunt return to British Columbia? Not if the current management plan is passed. The B.C. Wildlife Federation (BCWF) has called upon the provincial government to modify the Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework to provide more funding for creating sustainable grizzly populations, establish measurable objectives for grizzly bear recovery and work toward a future grizzly bear hunt in collaboration with First Nations, according to a news release.
In a letter addressed to the Minister of Forests Bruce Ralston, BCWF responded to the government’s call for public feedback regarding the grizzly bear management plan, noting that “a number” of the four foundations of renewable resource management (funding and capacity, science, legislation and governance) were “missing from the stewardship framework.”
Specifically, BCWF says the province has consistently reduced funding and eliminated 100 years of institutional knowledge from grizzly bear programs, not established science-based objectives for grizzly bear recovery, acknowledged the evidence that habitat disturbance is the “main driver” to the population decline rather than hunting or collected additional research and data to understand ways to protect key grizzly habitat. The current draft plan also doesn’t make any recommendations for a provincial objective for grizzly bear populations or habitat.
BCWF is also advocating for the return of a science-based grizzly hunt to help control increasing grizzly bear populations within the province. BCWF alleges that the decision to close the grizzly hunt contradicts the Vision, Principles & Goals of Together for Wildlife, which is a new Provincial Wildlife Management Strategy and was “made under social values, instead of science and evidence-based management.”
Without changes to the current plan, BCWF believes that the plan will simply become an inactive piece of legislation that does nothing to move grizzly recovery forward nor protect the habitat grizzly bears rely upon.
Do you support the return of a science-based grizzly bear hunt in British Columbia?