BCWF Response to Grizzly Bear Foundation Report
March 8, 2017
Surrey, B.C. The BC Wildlife Federation commends the Grizzly Bear Foundation for compiling a comprehensive report outlining some of the challenges related to the sustainability of grizzly bears in B.C. The BCWF is supportive of the majority of the report’s recommendations, including those related to habitat sustainability, research, education and funding. However, given the report’s position that “there is no one measure that alone can ensure the long-term survival of the grizzlies in B.C.”, the BCWF is disappointed that the report recommends the B.C. government terminate all hunting of grizzly bears in B.C., simply because it is “exclusively within our reach.” This recommendation is not supported by the best available science, misleads readers and is not one of the long term threats to grizzly bear sustainability.
“The BCWF supports a science-based approach to wildlife management at a landscape level,” said BCWF President, Jim Glaicar. “This isn’t just about grizzly bears, it’s about the way we manage the landscape. And you need funding and science to deal with those complex issues.”
As stated in the report, a priority issue for grizzly bear management and policy in B.C. is the need to increase dedicated funding for wildlife management. Despite being one of the most biologically diverse regions in North America, B.C. is consistently one of the most under-funded jurisdictions in terms of fish, wildlife and habitat management. Currently, the provincial government collects approximately $14.5 million annually in the form of hunting license revenues, of which only about $2.6 million is dedicated to on-the-ground wildlife conservation in the form of grants issued by the Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation.
The BCWF has long advocated for a new wildlife management funding model in B.C., whereby all hunting license revenues are dedicated back to the resource and that all users of B.C.’s natural resources contribute back to conservation, including mining and logging companies, eco-tour operators and recreational users.
The BCWF welcomes further conversations with the Grizzly Bear Foundation and other stakeholders and partners, including the Province and First Nations, about how we can work together on these and other initiatives to achieve our common goal of securing a sustainable future for B.C.’s grizzly bears.
For more information, contact:
Jesse Zeman, BCWF Resident Priority Program Manager
For general media inquiries, contact:
Jim Glaicar, BCWF President
Claudia Ferris, BCWF Communications