Bear viewing industry committed to conservation as operations give back, aim to exceed hunters’ contributions

May 29, 2018

VANCOUVER, May 29, 2018 –

Grizzly bears will benefit from additional support as Commercial Bear Viewing Association (CBVA) members commit to collecting a new conservation licensing fee directed to grizzly bear conservation efforts via Grizzly Bear Foundation (GBF).

Bear viewing operators view the surcharge as an opportunity to responsibly support the conservation of grizzly bears. The initiative echoes the surcharge that is included in the cost of a BC fishing, hunting, trapping or guide outfitting licence.

Debate around the value of the hunting industry to conservation in British Columbia has intensified since the moratorium of the grizzly bear hunt in Dec 2017. There is no doubt that in the past the Province’s model of surcharging on hunt-related licenses has generated sizable donations to the Habitat Trust Conservation Fund ($34,000 was allocated to them in 2015). However, with the CBVA’s new conservation licensing fee expanding in 2018, it is projected that collected fees will surpass those collected through hunt-related licensing fees, exceeding $75,000.

In the 2018 bear viewing season, four Commercial Bear Viewing Association members have voluntarily committed to collecting the $10/visitor (day trip) or $25/visitor (multi-day trip) fee. In 2019 the program will mandatorily expand to include the remaining CBVA bear viewing operators.

“It is only right that with the end of the hunt we should take on the funding of grizzly bear conservation," says Katherine MacRae, Executive Director of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC.  "Our members have decided to not only match what the hunters were putting into grizzly bear conservation, but exceed it, beginning right now."

“We are privileged to receive the proceeds from the newly initiated grizzly bear specific conservation licensing fee,” says Nicholas Scapillati, Executive Director of Grizzly Bear Foundation. “There is much work to be done to address the threats grizzly bears face in BC, and this commitment will help us expand our work to ensure the long-term wellbeing of the species.”

Together, the Commercial Bear Viewing Association and Grizzly Bear Foundation are currently working with government on developing a policy framework for bear-viewers and ensuring that existing protocols are implemented across the industry.

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About Grizzly Bear Foundation

Grizzly Bear Foundation, based in Vancouver, is Canada’s only charity solely dedicated to the long term welfare of grizzly bears.  It supports the conservation of grizzlies through research and public education.

For more information or comment please contact:   
Nicholas Scapillati, Executive Director
Grizzly Bear Foundation
604.551.2489
nscapillati@grizzlybearfoundation.com

About Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC
The Commercial Bear Viewing Association of BC (CBVA) was formed to promote sustainable bear viewing in British Columbia and aid in the protection of wild bears and their ecosystems. 

For more information or comment please contact:   
Katherine MacRae, Executive Director
Commercial Bear Viewing Association
604.762.7751
kathy@bearviewing.ca

 

Photo: Natalia Kollegova, CCO