Local reactions to the BC Government’s decision to completely ban grizzly bear hunting are luke warm, at best.
Eddie Petryshen with Wildsight says it’s a step in the right direction but doesn’t address the main threat to grizzlies which is destruction of habitat caused by human activity.
He points to the BC Auditor General’s report on grizzly management released in October.
Petryshen, a coordinator with the conservation advocacy group, says one of the key findings of the report was development adds approximately 10,000km of forest road across the province every year.
In a statement to The Drive, East Kootenay Wildlife Association (EKWA) President Jeff Berdusco goes one step further, saying they feel completely betrayed by the government’s announcement.
Berdusco says they expect the Province to base decisions off science not public opinion.
The BC NDP went to a full ban following consultation with British Columbians and after initially deciding to prohibit just grizzly bear trophy hunting.
Berdusco writes this approach does not bode well for science and ecosystem based wildlife management.
Part of the Province’s announcement Monday was that it is no longer socially acceptable to hunt the huge bears.
Guide Outfitters complains the decision will put them out of business, but environmentalists say it’s long overdue.
The BC Wildlife Federation agrees with the EKWA that wildlife management decisions should be based on science and facts.
The ban includes an exception for First Nations with treaty rights hunting for food, social or ceremonial reasons.
– Wildsight Conservation Coordinator Eddie Petryshen