Tuesday, December 19, 2017

BC bans bear-hunting, USA encourages it

The NDP/Green government of British Columbia has unexpectedly banned all trophy hunting of grizzly bears in the province. Effective immediately, all hunting of grizzlies in BC is now prohibited for both BC residents and non-residents alike, except for members of First Nations ("for treaty rights, or for food, social or ceremonial reasons").
Although the animals are not actually endangered in the province and the grizzly population is considered stable and sustainable at around 15,000, environmentalists are ecstatic at the announcement yesterday, arguing that this is a means of keeping the population stable. The opposition Liberals blasted the decision, of course (because that's what oppositions do). The hunting and guiding industry in the province is predictably disappointed, warning that some operators will probably go out of business as a result. However, research suggests that bear-watching is a much more important industry economically than bear-hunting in BC.
Contrast this announcement with the one earlier this year when the Trump administration removed the endangered protections from grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, a much more threatened, isolated and declining population of just 700 bears.

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