British Columbia’s New Democrats are promising to ban trophy hunting for grizzly bears in the province.
But NDP Leader John Horgan stopped short of an outright prohibition on the hunt, and says they’ll have to formulate a plan to compensate those outfitters who hold grizzly tenures.
He adds they’ll also ensure First Nations and others who hunt for subsistence won’t be impacted.
Horgan says funds from the increased eco-tourism will be put into the Conservation Officer Service.
He highlights the ecotourism dollars that bear viewing can bring in by telling a story of meeting a couple from Texas at the Northwest Regional Airport. The couple told him they come north to see grizzlies every year.
Horgan says that can only happen with live grizzlies, whereas a trophy hunter will only come once.
NDP MLA Jennifer Rice says ecotourism is becoming more important for the isolated communities that she represents as traditional resource industries decline in her North Coast riding.
The Coastal First Nations banned grizzly trophy hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest four years ago, and Doug Neasloss, chief councillor of the Kitasoo/Xai’Xais First Nation, backed Horgan’s position in a news release issued by the NDP.
He says the Coastal First Nations banned the grizzly trophy hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest four years ago.
In a video with Jennifer Rice, he talks about the importance of having living grizzlies in their territory, both economically and culturally.
The next provincial election is in May, and the province announced a gradual end to the hunt in the rainforest in February.
The video can be found here.