BC AUDITOR GENERAL CRITIQUES PROVINCE'S GRIZZLY BEAR MANAGEMENT

October 25, 2017

VANCOUVER - October 25, 2017 -- The Grizzly Bear Foundation welcomes the Auditor General of British Columbia’s report on the provincial government’s management of grizzly bears, revealing that the Ministry of Forest, Lands, and Resources and the Ministry of Environment are lacking a clear plan for grizzly bear management, and have not met most of their own stated goals and objectives for the management of the species.

As an indicator species, grizzly bears are important to protect - the health of their population helps gauge how well other species and ecosystems are doing. The now-dated estimate of 15,000 grizzlies in BC does not acknowledge that populations are threatened in some areas of the province.

We are pleased to note that the Auditor General’s concerns echo those voiced in our Board of Inquiry report, available here. With threats including increased urbanization associated with human population expansion, surging backcountry recreational pursuits, hunting, climate change, resource development, habitat fragmentation, and declining bear food supply, it is obvious that there is much work to be done to ensure the long term wellbeing of this iconic species.

We support the 10 recommendations presented in the audit, and in addition we reiterate our own recommendations to the Province as offered in our Board of Inquiry report:

  • Terminate all hunting of grizzly bears in BC.
  • Regulate the bear viewing industry in consultation with representatives of this industry.
  • Renew and update the 1995 British Columbia Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy, and determine the human and financial resources necessary to implement the Strategy. Include a comprehensive public consultation.
  • Strengthen Provincial wildlife enforcement capability and increase actions that proactively encourage compliance with wildlife protection laws.

We thank the office of the BC Auditor General for their thorough review of grizzly bear management by the Province of British Columbia. We look forward to helping the Province improve their practices to better address the cumulative threats facing the grizzly bear population.

MEDIA CONTACT:

GRIZZLY BEAR FOUNDATION
Raine Playfair, Acting Executive Director
604 871 4263
rplayfair@grizzlybearfoundation.com

A copy of the auditor general’s report can be downloaded at:
http://www.bcauditor.com/sites/default/files/publications/reports/FINAL_Grizzly_Bear_Management.pdf

A copy of the Grizzly Bear Foundation's Board of Inquiry Report can be downloaded at: https://grizzlybearfoundation.com/pages/reports