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In response to the release of of the Auditor General’s report on grizzly bear management today, my colleague, Adam Olsen, the BC Green critic for wildlife policy released the following:


Media Release


Adam Olsen responds to Auditor General’s report on grizzly bear management, calls for moratorium by bringing hunting tags to zero
For Immediate Release
October 24, 2017

VICTORIA, B.C. – Adam Olsen, the B.C. Green caucus spokesperson for Forestry, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (FLNRO), responded to the Auditor General’s report, An Independent Audit of Grizzly Bear Management, which was released earlier today.

“I am very concerned that the auditor general has found that the Ministries’ have failed to properly manage B.C.’s grizzly population,” Olsen said.

“These findings demonstrate the urgent need to develop a comprehensive approach to ensuring the health of grizzlies. We need to improve the coordination between the two ministries managing this file and prioritize transparency. Although the trophy hunt has received much high-profile attention, B.C.’s grizzlies face many other threats including habitat and food source loss due to human activity and, increasingly, the encroaching effects of climate change.

“Today, as an initial step, I am calling for a moratorium on grizzly bear by bringing hunting tags to down to zero while we take the time to review our wildlife management practices and plan for a landscape altered by climate change.

“As legislators, our job is to look for feasible solutions to the issues that matter to British Columbians. Under the previous Liberal government, which actively supported the grizzly bear trophy hunt, my colleague Andrew Weaver worked hard to advance legislation that would ban the trophy hunt while protecting rights for local sustenance hunters and First Nations traditional practices. Now, with a party in government that has opposed the grizzly bear trophy hunt supported by the B.C. Greens, we have an opportunity to move the dial even farther on measures that will protect our province’s grizzly bears.”

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11 Comments

  1. Rob Chipman-Reply
    October 25, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    While I applaud the attention being paid to wildlife, Mr. Olsen (and Mr. Weaver) I can’t give either of you gold stars for arriving late to the party.

    The Auditor General’s report does not tell many of us anything that we did not already know. Grizzly scientists studying BC grizzlies have stated, repeatedly, that the hunt is sustainable and that real threats to g-bears are road density, habitat degradation, food source loss and highway/rail mortality. Additionally, non-hunting human conflict is a big issue.

    Further, the news that the government has failed on the management front is not actually news to anyone who’s been paying attention. The BCWF Townhall presentation that circulated through the province during 2016 made the point convincingly that government has neglected it’s duties for decades, regardless of party, for all species. It’s reasonable to argue that the grizzly has received more resources than other, equally deserving but more threatened species.

    The real nature of the problem is that the conservation challenges we face i this province have a finite amount of resources to draw on. It is a zero-sum game. When we expend a disproportionate amount on a species that is doing quite well it means we are not funding other species of plants and animals that need more help.

    Choosing to favour a species because it is popular with a public that is not well informed about the challenges we face also tends to look like political maneuvering rather than real concern for the environment.

    Be careful with your credibility. A campaign to end a hunt on moral and ethical grounds because you want to enforce your morals on the wider public is one thing. Dressing that up as a conservation campaign is a different, and a dishonest, thing.

  2. Ryan-Reply
    October 25, 2017 at 3:02 pm

    Wildlife populations need to be managed scientifically, and there is an excellent, proven method of conservation, known as the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation. This model, formulated as a response to both European practices where the aristocracy owned the wildlife on their lands as well as rampant market hunting in the 19th century, saved many North American species, and has brought many others back to areas where they were extirpated from their historic ranges. This hunting ban, which is not supported by science or best practice, follows no such method, and distracts from the systematic underfunding of wildlife management (by all recent governing parties), and is cynically devised to speak to the current government’s urban base who have no direct experience of bears, and little understanding of nature.

    A hunting ban does little to help bears. With something in the neighbourhood of 250 grizzlys taken by hunters annually in BC, hunting does not have a significant impact on grizzly populations. If the Province, The Green Party and Mr Olsen really wanted to help bears, they’d invest their energy in work to maintain and improve habitat, particularly related to resource extraction in remote areas, not use the charismatic grizzly as low hang fruit in the effort to smear hunters, many of whom donate their time and money to conservation, and who want to see healthy sustainable wildlife practices in our province.

    And yes, as hunters we kill individual animals, but because of our time spent observing them, existing in nature with them, coming to understand them in the most natural of ways–the predator / prey relationship–we often care about them far more deeply than many give us credit for, despite abundant evidence to the contrary. If you’re a non-hunter and against the bear hunt, I suggest you seek out a hunter (there are a lot of us), and ask them why they hunt, how they do it it, and what they think about their quarry. I suspect you’ll find that the narrative in the media is dishonest and false.

  3. Ryne-Reply
    October 25, 2017 at 1:49 pm

    I own a section of land in region 7-32. We do not have an active leh for grizz, it has affected the moose populations here big time. The pressure they receive already from hunters was big, now eliminating a predator hunt is a bad idea, already we do not hunt predators enough. Everywhere i my property i see bear sign but not much sign from any other animals, only bears,wolves & coyotes. These hunts are important as not many hunters take part in predator control(which they should) so the limited people who do hunt these bears are doing a good thing, anyone who disagrees with me you’re more then welcome to come for a visit we can go for a decent walk in the bush i will show you, make sure to leave the bear spray at home youll wanna be packing slugs in your 12 gauge.

  4. Ken Grant-Reply
    October 25, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    Dr. Weaver, I’m wondering where the science to back up Mr. Olsen’s comments comes from? How will bringing hunting licences for bear down to zero, help the grizzly bear population, when,
    1) bear hunting only takes place where science dictates a sustainable harvest, and,
    2) science clearly dictates that hunting is Not the cause of a decline in grizzly bear populations in selected areas of B.C. , where there is already no authorizations available?
    As a scientist Dr. Weaver, how is it that you could even share Mr. Olsen’s point of view? I am dismayed that you’ve crossed that line sir. Science should dictate AAH, not emotion or uneducated knee jerk reactions. I’ve supported you in the meat retention 100%, but this does in fact cross the line. Please retract the original post on behalf of Mr. Olsen, and reflect on the real issues.

  5. Matt-Reply
    October 25, 2017 at 11:51 am

    Why would you place a moritotrium on grizzly hunting when the report states hat hunting has zero effect. You should be concentrating on working with biologists to maintain sustainable harvest with meat retention elements. The grizzly bear populations in almost MUA are steadily increasing if you talk to anyone who spends any amount of time in the bush. Emotional responses and political policy’s are what have us in this mess in the first place. Science says the hunt is sustainable and should continue, doing anything but is to ignor science and decision make for political gain or emotions.

  6. Dustin Curran-Reply
    October 25, 2017 at 11:48 am

    All animals in BC need a better wildlife management plan. The government needs to concentrate of giving back habitat to wildlife, deactivating roads, stop aerial spaying, predator management, continue to use science for regulation changes not feelings and start collecting information from the FN such as how many moose per year they take which will in turn help with having a better understanding of the mortality rates.

    People say we live in a day and age where theres no need to hunt. We also live in a day and age where food products actually have to be registered and classified as fit to consume. I’ll stick with my traditions and provide the best meat possible for my family.

  7. Bill Marshall-Reply
    October 24, 2017 at 4:48 pm

    Really needs to be edited properly. Some parts don’t even make sense. “Now, with a party in government that has opposed the grizzly bear trophy hunt supported by the B.C. Greens,” WT???
    No we didn’t support the hunt!!! We supported the NDP… Do better PLEASE!!

    • Marshall Smith-Reply
      October 24, 2017 at 8:23 pm

      Way to keep’em on their toes, Bill! I’d expect nothing less! ;)

  8. Steve Giltrow-Reply
    October 24, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    Let’s forget about ‘banning the trophy hunt’ and move towards banning the hunt period. This species has bennett labeled as ‘vulnerable’ since 2013. There is no economic (live bears raise far more tourist dollars than dead bears) ethical or sustainable reason ( we know the bears are susceptible to human encroachment – we don’t know the effect of climate change ) reason to continue any type of hunting.

    • Garrett Belanger-Reply
      October 25, 2017 at 4:38 pm

      There are actually many reasons to continue hunting them, many of them economical. You’re just refusing to acknowledge these factors because you do not understand how this animal fits into the eco-system.

  9. Joanne Folka-Reply
    October 24, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    A great start. All animal species must be protected by responsible habitat stewardship. Every species has value.

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