Letter: Conservation officers & cities at fault for Tri-City bear deaths

The Editor,

Re. "Letter: Hey, it's not conservation officers' fault bears are dying" (tricitynews.com).

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Really? I don't recall reading or hearing that other forces are destroying our bears. The conservation officers (COs) are the ones pulling the triggers.

Rather than a meaningful relocating or retraining program that takes time, commitment and constructive beliefs, COs and the BC Conservation Officer Service take the easy path of control and management.

Also, where's a prevention program? And, as they are not accountable to anyone, hunting season remains.

You want to lessen fault? Then consider this:

  • Municipalities do not enforce their own control bylaws actively or meaningfully. It's all play to them. And I bet the developments into the surrounding mountain habitats don't place any consideration on impacts on an area's natural inhabitants — it's all about money and tax revenue. Forget environmental considerations. Forget climate considerations. After all, animals don't vote or pay taxes.

  • People are quite directly responsible for managing their waste and other attractants for our beasties. There are no excuses for the contrary.

  • As long as people aren't concerned with the municipalities enforcing actively the bylaws and with the COs not having an active prevention and enforcement program, nothing will change. Further, the fines that currently exist are a joke and everyone knows it.

There can be lots of finger pointing when it comes to bears in the Tri-Cities. And often there is. After all, who wants to stand up and admit responsibility for killing bears? It's always somebody else's fault.

All this said, our bears are simply trying to survive in a world not of their making. 

But fault the COs for the bears dying? Absolutely. Nobody else carries the weapons and destroys our bears.

COs are failing society's needs and our wildlife's needs by their constant disregard of duty to both and their ever meaningless justifications for actions of destruction taken.

Michael Sonntag, Port Coquitlam


Read more of our coverage on human-bear interactions in the Tri-Cities:

Editorial: 30 bears killed? That's crazy

Anmore couple rescues bear cub but faces BC Conservation investigation

Rescued Anmore bear cub stable but has 'a long way to go'

Body cams, more oversight for conservation officers, says group upset over B.C. bear killings

Could these dogs prevent bear deaths in the Tri-Cities?


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