This week, despite a wealth of scientific evidence to the contrary, British Columbia moved to ban all grizzly hunting in the province, effective immediately. The reason for the ban appears to be the government’s “consultation” with “many British Columbians” who have declared the hunt “is not in line with their values,” according to a BC government news release.
The Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia (GOABC) has issued a statement decrying this decision. “It is truly disappointing that we throw history and science out the window for some urban votes,” said Michael Schneider, president of the GOABC. “We expect our government to make informed decisions based on the best facts and science. Emotional decisions are not good for anyone.” (www.goabc.org)
DSC has joined GOABC in several research projects in the region, specifically pertaining to grizzly bears. From this research that is still underway, there have been no indications that a blanket ban is warranted.
A previous ban, announced in August, took effect in November for a specific region. But this latest announcement limits all grizzly hunting to just sustenance hunting by First Nations, for food, social, ceremonial purposes, pursuant to treaties and Aboriginal rights.
“Basing such an important decision on ‘values’ and popular polls is an incredibly bad idea. Where is the role of science in the bear management plan? Science tells us that well-regulated hunting does only good things for grizzlies,” said DSC Executive Director Corey Mason, a Certified Wildlife Biologist™. “This decision not only throws out science but discards reason as well.”