BC's Great Bear Rainforest saved but what about trophy hunting?
BC's Great Bear Rainforest is going to be saved tomorrow, by the March 31st deadline, but what about the decision on bear trophy hunting in the area?
The government is going to announce tomorrow a new approach to sustainable development in the region, and this will change how the entire area is managed.
Patrick Armstrong, a spokesman for the five forest companies says:
"This is an important milestone in securing a global treasure for future generations," Armstrong said Monday. "Management will be different. There's an awful lot more certainty than what it was 10 years ago when we were at hammer-and-tongs with everybody around the world."
These decisions meet the promises made in 2006 by the BC government to help preserve the region for many years to come.
The new decisions include that 2.1 million hectares is protected, an eco-system-based management is in place, which means that the region will be balanced for use and need, and a $120 million fund will be used to transition to these new practices.
The trophy hunting in the region however is still a bit of a mystery.
Yesterday Environment Minister Barry Penner said that he will soon sign an order to make it illegal to hunt any black bear exhibiting a white colour, like the protected Kermode Bear, anywhere in BC.
The Wildlife Act does not mention a ban against killing bears that exhibit white traits and that is what Penner wants to change.
However, the trophy hunting of other bears that takes place in spring time has not been banned yet. The hunt however generates about $6 million in revenue for the hunters and guides and research shows that the bear populations are not affected by the hunting.
Many want the hunt banned saying that it is unethical and hurts the possibility of building a tourism industry from bear watching. When hunters kill a bear they are allowed to just takes its hide or head and leave the meat behind and most hunting is done when the bears are just eating by the river or trying to catch some fish: question is, where is the sport in that?
Almost 80% of British Columbians oppose the hunt, but what will happen to the hunt this season remains to be seen.
If you want to get involved you can help 'Keep the Promise' and that includes protecting the bears.
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