The province is changing the way grizzly bears are hunted in British Columbia, and it’s your opportunity to let them know what you think about their policy papers, and what the future of grizzly killing will look like.
In August the government announced that all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rainforest would end (not including First Nations), as would taking traditional trophies from grizzlies hunted throughout the province (but still allowing a hunt for “meat”). This now means that policies surrounding the hunting of grizzly bears need to change, and the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations is asking for public input.
Specifically, they are seeking feedback on:
- Changes to manage the ban in hunting areas that overlap the Great Bear Rainforest;
- Changes that will prohibit the possession of "trophy" grizzly bear parts;
- Changes that will manage prohibited grizzly bear parts;
- Changes to prohibit the trafficking of grizzly bear parts; and,
- New reporting requirements for taxidermists.
- Keep it short and specific. You want to make sure your points are straight-forward and easy to read so there’s no mistaking your opinions, and that it isn’t confused with other, unrelated comments.
- Be polite and mindful of language. You may feel a great deal of anger, sadness, or even hate over what you need to write. But when communicating with politicians and government bureaucrats, using hateful language, veiled or indirect threats, or cursing, your points can be more easily ignored, and sometimes even result in resources being redirected as a security measure.
- Provide citations and links. It’s a lot harder to dismiss an argument if there’s clear evidence through citations to reputable documents or media, and links to existing policy or examples. Providing these makes your letter more impactful.
- Request follow up. If you want answers, make sure your questions are clear, and that you expect responses within a certain time period. Remember that in the case of policy input there may not be any systems in place for responses, and to follow up with bureaucrats or politicians.
It is my opinion that managing the hunting of grizzly bears and the harvesting and trafficking of the various trophies, parts, or meat of their carcasses cannot be effectively accomplished within British Columbia at this time. Without significant increases to the resources of the Conservation Officer Service and their counterparts at the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resource Operations, there is simply no manner of ensuring any policy allowing for some harvesting of grizzly bear trophies, parts or meat. Additionally, long-standing questions regarding the models and research used to make policy decisions on grizzly bear hunting have not been answered (see recommendations from the Scientific Review of Grizzly Bear Harvest and the yet-to-be delivered report from the Auditor General).
How this will interfere with the thriving grizzly bear viewing industry is also not included in your policy papers – a critical oversight.
In conjunction with these vital issues on the conservation and science side, the lack of resources to properly manage the hunt, and the overwhelming shift in societal views on hunting grizzly bears, all grizzly hunting should cease in the province.
Your name and address