End of Great Bear Rainforest grizzly hunt to cost First Nations millions

VICTORIA -- New information reveals ending the trophy hunt for grizzly bears in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest will cost millions of dollars, and in the meantime hunters will still be able to set their sights on the bruins.

See Full Article

Premier Christy Clark announced a landmark deal earlier this week to limit logging and end the commercial grizzly hunt on the central coast, which is home to rare, white spirit bears and 1000-year-old cedar forests.

First Nations, environmentalists and hunters said Wednesday there is no target date to end the hunt, and its demise requires negotiations over hunting rights that are destined to cost millions of dollars.

Before the trophy hunt ends, agreements must be reached to purchase lucrative hunting-tenure licences from outfitters who charge non-resident hunters US$25,000 to shoot a grizzly.

"Effectively, she announced nothing," said Pacific Wild co-founder Ian McAllister. "She wished non-profits like ourselves and the Coastal First Nations good luck with purchasing the remaining licences. It's unaffordable. This really should be coming from the province."

The government has since issued statements, clarifying the hunt's end would be "gradual."

"The province has reached an agreement with Coastal First Nations that, contingent on Coastal First Nations' acquisition of guide territories within their traditional territory, the commercial grizzly bear hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest will end," said Steve Thomson, minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations, in a statement.

Non-residents who come to B.C. from outside Canada must hire a guide outfitter to trophy hunt in the province. Resident hunters, whose primary home is in B.C., will still be permitted to hunt grizzlies and other animals in the Great Bear Rainforest.

Guide outfitter Peter Klaui said he is prepared to sell his tenure-hunting licence.

"Everything has its price," said Klaui, owner of North Coast Adventures for 20 years.

He said his hunting territory spans two-million hectares on the southern edge of the Great Bear Rainforest, and his current licence allows the harvesting of 23 grizzlies over five years.

"If you just do the amortization, especially now with U.S. dollars," said Klaui. "Can you imagine, I mean a grizzly hunt is $45,000 Canadian."

The North Coast Adventures website includes the testimonial of a Spanish hunter who shot the largest grizzly in Canada in 2008 at Apple River near Powell River. The grizzly weighed more than 340 kilograms and is listed as the 13th largest in North America.

Over the past decade, the Raincoast Conservation Foundation has paid about $2 million to buy three trophy licences that cover 2.7 million hectares in the Great Bear Rainforest. The rainforest's total estimated area is about 6.4 million hectares.

Now, instead of hunters paying thousands to shoot a grizzly, tourists spend huge dollars to photograph and view the beasts in the wild.

Brian Falconer, marine-operations manager for the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, said trophy-licence policy stipulates a hunt must occur, which leads to some unique interpretations on his wilderness tours.

"We're required still to do those hunts," said Falconer. "So we go through all of the motions. We buy grizzly tags for our hunters. As I put it, 'we just don't seem to be able to find the perfect bear people want to shoot."'

The Great Bear Rainforest agreement between First Nations, environmental groups, forest companies and the B.C. government protects from logging 85 per cent of the largest, intact temperate rainforest in the world.

Nine area First Nations, who comprise the Coastal First Nations, want to end the commercial grizzly hunt in their traditional territories.

The First Nations were part of a recent court case that saw National Hockey League defenceman Clayton Stoner plead guilty to shooting without a permit a grizzly known as Cheeky.

Coastal First Nations spokesman Doug Neasloss said talks are underway between the First Nations and guide outfitters to buy two grizzly hunting-tenure licences, and aboriginals are preparing to raise the necessary money through a fundraising campaign.

"I think the writing is on the wall, and I think basically trophy hunting is out the door," Neasloss said.

Not every First Nation sees it that way.

Neasloss acknowledged the nearby Nisga'a Nation recently purchased a Great Bear Rainforest tenure licence and may plan their own trophy-hunting operations.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Biden's German Shepherd has aggressive incident and is sent back to Delaware

    World News CTV News
    The two German Shepherds belonging to U.S. President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden were returned to the Biden family home in Delaware last week after aggressive behaviour at the White House involving Major Biden, two sources with knowledge tell CNN. Source
  • Evacuations ordered after heavy rains breach dam on Maui

    World News CTV News
    HONOLULU -- Heavy rains caused a dam to overflow on the Hawaiian island of Maui, and and nearby residents in the community of Haiku are being evacuated, county officials said Monday. The National Weather Service reported 13.2 inches (33.5 centimetres) of rain fell in the Haiku area of Maui's North Coast between 7 a.m. Source
  • 'Thinking with their hearts': Ice fishers providing meals for Winnipeg's homeless

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Anglers from a popular fishing hole in southern Manitoba are providing hot meals for Winnipeg's homeless after a bountiful season on the ice. For weeks, thousands of anglers have crowded the ice on a particular part of Lake Winnipeg near the town of Riverton, saying the fishing has been best there this year. Source
  • Man arrested in Capitol Hill attack was reportedly bodyguard for Trump confidant Roger Stone

    World News CBC News
    Two men wanted in the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol were arrested over the weekend, including one who reportedly served as a bodyguard to former president Donald Trump's longtime political confidant Roger Stone, federal authorities said Monday. Source
  • International Women's Day: Can COVID-19 bring sea change to private sector, public policy?

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- When Faye Pang became pregnant while working at Uber, the company had to scramble to put together a maternity leave policy. She was the first woman at the ridesharing firm in Canada who required it, she said, and they had noprotocol in place. Source
  • Large underground party broken up by police in southeast Edmonton

    Canada News CTV News
    EDMONTON -- Police estimate about 200 people took part in an illegal party in southeast Edmonton early Sunday. CTV News Edmonton arrived on scene as an armada of officers pulled up to Ellwood Corner, a business plaza in Edmonton's southeast Ellerslie neighbourhood around midnight. Source
  • RNC maintains right to use Trump's name in fundraising

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Republican National Committee is defending its right to use former U.S. President Donald Trump's name in fundraising appeals after he demanded they put an end to the practice. In a Monday letter to Trump attorney Alex Cannon, RNC chief counsel J. Source
  • Trump, RNC clash over using his name in fundraising

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- The Republican National Committee is defending its right to use former U.S. President Donald Trump's name in fundraising appeals after he demanded they put an end to the practice. In a Monday letter to Trump attorney Alex Cannon, RNC chief counsel J. Source
  • Arizona man who wore horns in Capitol riot to remain jailed

    World News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- An Arizona man who stormed the U.S. Capitol two months ago while sporting face paint, no shirt and a furry hat with horns will remain jailed until his trial, a federal judge ruled Monday, saying the man's willingness to resort to violence and refusal to follow police orders during the siege signal that he wouldn't follow court-ordered conditions of release. Source
  • Hillary Clinton on Meghan and Harry's interview: Women 'should not be forced into a mold that is no longer relevant'

    World News CTV News
    Hillary Clinton weighed in Monday on Oprah Winfrey's explosive interview with Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, and her husband, Prince Harry, offering support for Meghan and decrying the tabloids and bureaucracy that often targeted her. "I found it so heart-rending to watch," Clinton said during a Washington Post Live event on Monday, noting that she had met the pair as well as Harry's late mother, Princess Diana. Source