The provincial government has proposed a new grizzly bear management structure that would give governing rights to smaller communities and regions as opposed to overarching provincial rulings.
The idea has been met with pushback from the Conservation Coalition, made up of 55 organizations, conservationists, scientists and nature-based businesses.
They wrote an open letter to the province, which in part says:
“The intent of this program, to fragment grizzly bear planning among local and regional committees, composed largely of hunting, trapping, industrial and political interests, is inconceivably irresponsible … management of all our species at risk requires an independent, expert wildlife stewardship team that is dedicated to conservation of species across the province, on behalf of all British Columbians.”
The Coalition says this change would open the door for trophy hunting, which was banned in 2017, to resume.
Instead, the Coalition “urges that wildlife should be managed with a combination of conservation biology, and the moral and humanitarian values of a majority of British Columbians.”
They referenced a study from 2017 when the hunting ban was put in place which says 78% of British Columbians were in support of the decision, a number that they say has only gone up since.
“In this time of unprecedented challenges, uncertainty, and unpredictability, we urgently require a shift from managing wildlife for consumptive use by humans to managing for the survival of species, using the precautionary principle, and in keeping with the science-informed humanitarian values of British Columbians.”
You can find the full open letter here.