Coastal grizzly hunt territories eyed for purchase by First Nations, enviros
Coastal grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. Photo by Ian McAllister.
Raincoast Conservation says it would be interested in resuming its buyout of available hunt territories. Its 2005 fundraising program to save the bears was hugely popular, the foundation said.
"Conservation needs to be the priority when it comes to the management of coastal grizzly bears, as opposed to exploitation and extraction," Raincoast executive director Chris Genovali on Wednesday.
"Acquiring the commercial hunting tenures in the Great Bear Rainforest will go a long way in making that important re-prioritization a reality."
Coastal Guardian Watchmen
All the while, Coastal First Nations have been keeping up the heat on the existing trophy hunting businesses with their Coastal Guardian Watchmen program.
The boated crews intersect with often angry trophy hunters, who fly in from all over North America to come shoot a grizzly. They advise them that their hunting activities are in violation of Indigenous law.
“People are welcome to come here and be tourists and view bears, but not to come and shoot them,” said Klemtu councillor Doug Neasloss, who doubles as the band’s Resource Stewardship Director.
He says the potential purchase of Great Bear Rainforest hunt territory is a step forward, but he’d much rather see the bear hunt in the region banned entirely. Neasloss says many Coastal First Nations are heavily invested in creating a tourism economy based on bear viewing.
There are about 300 grizzlies hunted annually in B.C. The province is currently accepting public comments for 60 days regarding its new land objectives for the Great Bear Rainforest.