Wonderful, breaking news out of British Columbia: The BC Auditor General has agreed to investigate the BC government’s management of grizzly bears, including the controversial trophy hunt that is opposed by 91% of the province.
While the investigation doesn’t guarantee policy changes, it will hopefully answer the many serious questions that have been raised by independent scientists (University of Victoria, amongst others) and advocacy groups, including the David Suzuki Foundation.
We’re also hopeful it will increase pressure on the BC government to rethink their blanket wildlife management policies that fly in the face of sound economics, scientific consensus, and overwhelming public opposition, especially amongst First Nations (who the crown has failed to consult despite the courts declaring they have the duty to do so).
With the news cycle focused on the United States’ plan to delist the grizzly and create a trophy hunting season within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem – a fragile population lacking any connectivity – this is a good reminder that thoughtful advocacy and public support can yield change.
As we’ve often stated, we’re not anti-hunting, but believe balance must be found in order to create spaces for animals – like grizzlies – to come first and do so without launching a culture war that prohibits a politically sustainable solution.
Simon’s work with the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition – and the work of many, many others – helped push the concept of true wildlife sanctuaries into the BC political lexicon. And with today’s news, we’re more hopeful than ever that the BC government will realize they must get in front of this issue and begin talks to create more thoughtful policies that also consider the longterm wellbeing of grizzly bears.
A big thanks to Faisal Moola and everyone who has worked to give BC grizzlies a voice, including David Suzuki Foundation, Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Pacific Wild and Andrew Wright’s Faltering Light Project.
Make your voice heard to support balanced, thoughtful wildlife management policies and write BC Premier Christy Clark:
For more on today’s announcement: