British Columbia’s NDP government has announced that it will end grizzly bear trophy hunting throughout the province after this year’s hunt.
The ban will take effect on Nov. 30, 2017, throughout the province. The B.C. government said it is also putting a stop to hunting grizzly bears the Great Bear Rainforest.
This year’s grizzly hunting season will open on Tuesday in the Peace River region. Other regions in the province will be open to grizzly hunting at the beginning of September.
“By bringing trophy hunting of grizzlies to an end, we’re delivering on our commitment to British Columbians,” Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Minister
Doug Donaldson said in a statement.
Donaldson said the ban is supported by the majority of people in the province.
“In particular, we owe it to generations past and future to do all we can to protect the beauty and uniqueness of the Great Bear Rainforest. We believe the action we’re taking goes beyond the commitment to Coastal First Nations made as part of the 2016 Great Bear Rainforest agreements,” Donaldson said.
B.C. Green Party Leader Andrew Weaver said in a statement he is not sure how the ban will appease anyone’s concerns.
“It appears to me that the NDP were trying to play to environmental voters in the election campaign without thinking through their policies,” Weaver said in a written statement.
During the provincial election campaign, the B.C. NDP pledged to end grizzly bear trophy hunting. The hunt has stirred up controversy in the past. In March, the Grizzly Bear Foundation released an 88-page report with 19 recommendations, including ending the trophy hunt. The report was based on consultations throughout the province.
In 2016, Coastal First Nations, an alliance of nine First Nations along the central and north B.C. coast and Haida Gwaii posted signs across the province that read “Trophy Hunting is Closed in the Great Bear Rainforest. Respect our Traditional Laws.”
The government said there are an estimated 15,000 grizzly bears in British Columbia, with about 250 killed each year by hunters. According to the government, hunting for meat will be allowed to continue when the trophy hunt ends.