The Guide Outfitters Association of B.C. says the complete ban on grizzly bear hunting is based in politics, not science.
On Monday the province announced the total ban, with the only exception being for Indigenous reasons.
The guide outfitters say two independent scientific reviews confirmed that grizzly bears are well managed in British Columbia. Experts estimate that there is a healthy population of approximately 15,000 grizzly bears. Strict hunting regulations have been in place since 1976 and the harvest rate is consistently at two per cent, well below the sustainable harvest rate of six per cent, according to the association. In the Auditor General’s report, Carol Bellringer stated, “the greatest threat to grizzly bears is not hunting, but rather, human activities that degrade grizzly habitat.”
“It is truly disappointing that we throw history and science out the window,” said Michael Schneider, president of the GOABC. “We expect our government to make informed decisions for wildlife conservation based on the best facts and best available science. Emotional decisions have great risk of unintended consequences.”
About 100 outfitting businesses will be negatively impacted by this decision. Many, he claimed, will not be able to survive the financial loss.