A commentary by a Victoria resident.
In 2017, John Horgan’s government ended the trophy hunt of grizzly bears as an election promise. Now there is the possibility that the trophy hunt could resume.
The Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework draft was released in July.
It is a significant document, long and complex and the first in 30 years to approach grizzly bear management. British Columbians have until Friday to review the framework and respond via an online survey.
The process should not be rushed and everyone should have an opportunity to review and response.
The ban on hunting grizzly bears represents the will of the majority of British Columbians, including the majority of hunters surveyed.
Since the ban, the western population of grizzly bears as been officially listed under the Species at Risk Act (SARA) as a species of special concern. Now we have a legal obligation to protect these animals.
There is a lack of a precise, updated population count so bear management can not be scientifically informed and managed. There is no science that supports the “trophy” killing of grizzly bears.
There is an increased need to ensure the ban on hunting grizzly bears with the loss of 1.5 million or more hectares of loss of B.C. habitat due to wildfires exacerbated by climate change.
Climate change means bears can no longer rely on historical food sources, dens and habitat.
The idea of bringing back the grizzly hunt at such an uncertain time is appalling. Do not let a minority who wish to hunt grizzlies drive stewardship principles in our province.
Brutally destroying sentiment lives under the veil of “sport” or “tradition” is the antithesis of stewardship and has no place in a healthy human society.
We need to end this destructive practice in British Columbia and make the grizzly hunt a relic of the past.
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