A local conservation group hopes a ban on grizzly bear trophy hunting is the first step in a renewed approach to wildlife management.
Wildsight’s John Bergenske says they welcome ban announced by the BC NDP this week but more can still be done to address concerns around wildlife populations.
Bergenske says issues around grizzly bears, like many species, are not linked to just hunting.
He explains significant changes need to be made land use management to prevent declining populations.
The sentiments echo remarks made by the Chair of the Cranbrook-based BC Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.
Groups like this and other regional stakeholders took place in a roundtable discussion in Cranbrook in March that called for the Province to implement a comprehensive wildlife management strategy.
Bergenske suggests the Province reassess land use planning to consider forestry, mining, road development and what is needed to really benefit wildlife populations.
The Conservation Director adds they do want clarity from the Province on how they will differentiate between trophy hunters and those harvesting meat.
Bergenske says it is curious the government didn’t outright ban grizzly bear hunting across BC like they did within the Great Bear Rainforest.
Regardless, he says he encourage with the government’s apparent willingness to move forward with a broader consultation process and a different wildlife management strategy.
There are an estimated 15,000 grizzly bears in the province and about 250 have been taken each year by hunters since the hunt was reinstated by the Liberals 16 years ago.
– Wildsight Conservation Director John Bergenske