Thriving grizzly watching businesses hurt by trophy hunt

It’s a bit hard to figure out why exactly BC Premier Christy Clark continues to stand behind the wildly unpopular grizzly bear trophy hunt: urban voters hate it; rural voters hate it; First Nations communities hate it; the media has a field day with her on it; and even some hunters are opposing it. The only logical reason left to have such a hunt is for the alleged economic gain, right?

Popular newspaper The Province debunked that one yesterday, too.

Journalist Cassidy Olivier relates the economic woes of bear-viewing business owner Julius Strauss in Sunday’s articleIs B.C.'s trophy hunt for grizzly bears bad business?

Following an incident where trophy hunters cross paths with Strauss, who was searching out ideal viewing locations, the non-lethal guide chose to hold back his guests from the area.

“On that occasion, Strauss was able to shield his guests, the majority of whom are international tourists, from the reality that the bears they had paid to see were also the targets of a controversial trophy hunt,” Cassidy wrote. “Weeks later, however, he wasn’t so lucky when his guests learned of the hunter driving around with a freshly skinned grizzly pelt tied to the roof of her SUV. They were outraged.”

As a result, Strauss noted that he would be cancelling his spring season so long as the trophy hunt remains in place. He said that he would personally lose between $60,000 and $100,000 in unrealized profit, and the local economy (including a couple of part time jobs at his ranch) would lose out on up to $80,000.

This of course doesn’t include the simple fact that a bear shot is a bear that can’t contribute anymore: she cannot give birth to more bears, cannot be viewed by well-paying tourists, and, obviously, cannot be hunted again.

The outstanding article published by The Province goes on to share more facts, including startling revelations found by Raincoast Conservation Foundation that show the government doesn’t actually know how many grizzly bears there are.

Economically, ecologically, and ethically, there is no reason for a trophy hunt of grizzly bears. Join us in calling for an end to the grizzly bear trophy hunt by finding and emailing your MLA (if you’re a resident of British Columbia, and make sure you include your name and address) as well as Premier Christy Clark.

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