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

  • Ginsburg's impact on women spanned age groups, backgrounds

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- Sure, there were the RBG bobbleheads, the Halloween getups, the lace collars, the workout videos. The "I dissent" T-shirts, the refrigerator magnets, the onesies for babies or costumes for cats. And yes, the face masks, with slogans like: "You can't spell TRUTH without RUTH. Source
  • Woman accused of sending ricin letter to White House arrested

    Canada News CTV News
    WASHINGTON -- Three law enforcement officials say a woman suspected of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin, which was addressed to White House, has been arrested at the New York-Canada border. The officials say the woman was taken into custody by U.S. Source
  • Woman suspected of mailing ricin to White House arrested at U.S.-Canada border

    World News CBC News
    Three U.S. law enforcement officials say a woman suspected of sending an envelope containing the poison ricin, which was addressed to White House and President Donald Trump, has been arrested at the New York-Canada border. The officials say the woman was taken into custody by U.S. Source
  • Searchers find body of one of two teens missing after boat capsized off P.E.I.

    Canada News CTV News
    ALBERTON, P.E.I. -- An underwater search team has found the body of one of two 17-year-old boys who went missing when their boat capsized off Prince Edward Island last week. An RCMP spokesman says searchers recovered the body of Ethan Reilly at about 5:30 p.m. Source
  • Storm-weary Texas, Louisiana prepare as Beta churns closer

    World News CBC News
    Tropical storm Beta trudged toward the coasts of Texas and Louisiana on Sunday, threatening to bring more rain, wind and stress to a part of the country that has already been drenched and battered during this year's unusually busy hurricane season. Source
  • Alberta couldn't sell bonds earlier this year, Kenney says, as he continues push for federal reform

    Canada News CBC News
    As part of Alberta Premier Jason Kenney's push for Ottawa to recalculate its fiscal stabilization fund, he cited government bonds Sunday as a dire indicator of the necessity for federal aid. "To be blunt, there were a few weeks where we couldn't sell Alberta government bonds," Kenney said in an interview on CTV's Question Period. Source
  • Shapovalov's run in Rome ends in 3-set semifinal loss to Diego Schwartzman

    Canada News CBC News
    Canadian Denis Shapovalov's steady run at the Italian Open ended Sunday with a semifinal loss to Diego Schwartzman of Argentina. The No. 8-seeded Schwartzman beat Shapovalov 6-4, 5-7, 7-6 (4) to advance to Monday's finals, where he'll play world No. Source
  • Thousands protest Netanyahu; many ignore Israeli virus rules

    World News CTV News
    JERUSALEM -- Thousands of Israelis resumed their weekly protest Sunday outside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence in central Jerusalem, despite a new nationwide lockdown order aimed at curbing a raging coronavirus outbreak. An exception allowing people to hold public demonstrations was included in the three-week lockdown imposed last Friday. Source
  • Horse trailer flips on Hwy. 401 in Kingston, Ont., horses treated for cuts

    Canada News CTV News
    KINGSTON -- Two horses were treated for minor cuts after a horse trailer flipped on Highway 401 in Kingston, Ont. Ontario Provincial Police say the incident happened in the westbound lanes of Highway 401 at Highway 38 Sunday afternoon. Source
  • Sask. reports 20 new COVID-19 cases

    Canada News CTV News
    REGINA -- Saskatchewan reported 20 new cases of COVID-19 on Sunday, bringing the total number of active cases to 140. There are seven new cases located in the Saskatoon area, 10 in the Regina area and two in the south east region. Source