An ArmchairMayor.ca editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
TERMINATING the grizzly bear trophy hunt, as announced Monday by Forests Minister Doug Donaldson, is worthy of a round of applause.
Donaldson already deserves credit for heading up the ministry with what must be the longest name in any government anywhere — Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
Now, he has kudos coming for killing the trophy hunt. He didn’t go quite far enough — all hunting of grizzlies should be ended throughout the province, but this is a good start. In addition to getting rid of the odious practice of executing the biggest and the best of the species, the province will stop all hunting of grizzlies in the Great Bear Rain Forest.
Donaldson says ending the trophy hunt is supported by the vast majority of people in B.C., and he’s very probably right about that. Several cases in recent years have brought public awareness to the stupidity of trophy hunting of grizzly bears.
If Donaldson really wanted to take the bull by the horns, so to speak, he’d protect all species, not just grizzly bears, from trophy hunting.
Still, the grizz hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest was a particular irritant, so Monday’s announcement is being welcomed by environmentalists and First Nations.
The government will consult with First Nations and stakeholder groups over the next while to decide next steps and mechanisms towards ending the hunt. And Donaldson signaled an intent to look at wildlife management in general.
“Additionally, government will be moving forward with a broader consultation process on a renewed wildlife management strategy for the province,” his press release said.
“The key elements of that strategy will include dedicated funding for wildlife and habitat conservation and a collaborative process in developing short- and long-term plans for wildlife resources.”
Maybe part of that discussion will be about putting an end to the idea that wildlife is simply a harvestable surplus, and, instead, thinking of wild animals as co-inhabitants of this great province.