Grizzlies of BC
The grizzly bear represents an image of pure wilderness in Canada and a highly respected animal in aboriginal culture. It is a North American sub-species of the brown bear, originated in Eurasia, and arrived in North America via the Bering land bridge approximately 50,000 years ago. They are apex predators that interact with other plant and animal species in their habitats, and their population health is therefore a key indicator of the overall ecosystem’s health.
Before Europeans arrived in North America, a vast network of grizzly bear trails existed between California and Alaska. Today, much of the southern extent of the grizzly’s coastal range has been lost to logging, urbanization and reduced salmon stocks, while hunting extirpated the bears themselves long ago. Today, only a few isolated habitats are occupied by grizzlies below the 49th parallel.
The Great Bear rainforest, located in North and Central BC, supports the largest and densest populations of grizzlies in Canada, but consequently has been a prime location for grizzly bear trophy hunting.
Since grizzly bears are a vital ecological, cultural and economic resource in B.C., some wildlife biologists believe that excessive hunting is affecting the viability of bears in the province.
Research suggests that current hunting levels in the province are based on excessively optimistic population data, which could be generating a big influence on population decline. Grizzlies are listed as a species of special concern by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada
Coastal First Nations of B. C. have declared that the grizzly bear “constitutes an umbrella species for their culture, has been an integral and critical part of their nations and that they are an indicator of the health of the land and the people”; and therefore many are working hard to ensure the protection of the grizzly bear throughout the land.
What You can Do
On August 14th, 2017 the NDP government announced a ban on the grizzly bear trophy hunt province-wide and a stop to all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest – after the fall hunt (read more). However, there is still much more to do to Save the Great Bears. British Columbia is one of the last refuges of the grizzly bear. Stand together to fully protect grizzlies throughout B.C.
Here's how you can help:
1. Learn more about the Great Bear Trophy Hunt
2. Sign the petition to stop trophy hunting
3. Donate to Raincoast to purchase the Nadeea commercial hunting tenure which will help protect grizzly and other wildlife in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest.
3. Send a message to the B.C New democratic party
4. Propose changes. Provide feedback on proposed regulation changes pertaining to trapping and hunting, including grizzly bear hunting
5. Participate in an Environmental Appeal Board (EAB). If grizzly bear hunting has a more direct impact on your rights (e.g., you operate grizzly bear viewing tours) you may apply to or receive an invitation to participate from the EAB as a “third party” or “participant” in the appeal hearing.