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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Why would any real scientific body of experts recommend expanded Grizzly Bear hunting in southern British Columbia that borders the USA..............Why would one purposely lessen the odds of trans border connectivity for these trophic and endangered bears?.....SIMON FRASER UNIVERSITY researcher Kyle Artelle states that “It is just a place where we detect a high level of overkill".... "Trophy hunting is unsustainable(for Griz)"..................Especially so when In the U.S., from the Continental Divide west to the Pacific Ocean, very small populations of grizzly bears exist along the border with Canada................. Two years ago, a hiker in the North Cascades National Park recorded the first confirmed sighting of a grizzly there since the 1960s............ There are a few grizzlies in the Selkirk Mountains of Northeast Washington and more in the Flathead River valley of Montana................STOP THE SHOOTING,,,,,,,,,,,,,ALLOW FOR SAFE PASSAGE BACK AND FORTH ACROSS THE BORDER TO ENCOURAGE HEALTHY GENE FLOW AND OPTIMUM DIVERSITY

Green light for expanded grizzly bear hunting in British Columbia

By Joe Sebille
A grizzly bear, the first confirmed sighting since the 1960′s, climbs a ridge in the North Cascades National Park.

But Kyle Artelle, a Ph.D. student at Simon Fraser University and bear researcher, describes the proposed kill area as “one of the areas of highest concern” in the province.
“It is just a place where we detect a high level of overkill,” said Artelle.  He is co-author of a recent scientific report that questioned the government’s population estimates and argument that trophy hunting is sustainable.
“Road density is a huge factor in grizzly mortality,” argued Artelle.  “Much of this area is roaded and logged and, frankly, we don’t know how these stresses impact the bears.”
Not to worry, Andrew Wilson, director of fish and wildlife with B.C.’s Forests Ministry, told the Globe and Mail:  “When we consider opening a hunt, it has to meet a certain number of tests.  And we feel in these instances, the tests have been passed.”
A different perspective comes in an assessment published on the Ministry of Forests’ own website, which states:
“Grizzly bear hunting is in high demand in the southeast corner of BC.  The South Rockies Grizzly Bear Population Unit in particular has been a management challenge for many years became there are nine guide outfitters, strong resident hunter demand and high non-hunter mortality.
“Past data have generated imprecise population estimates and there is ongoing debate over population size and sustainable kill levels.  The known grizzly bear mortality rate in the BC South Rockies has exceeded 5 percent of the estimated population in most years over the last two decades . . .”
The British Columbia government put a moratorium on grizzly bear hunting in 2001.  It was quickly lifted when the province elected a more conservative government.   About 65 percent of British Columbia, from the north coast to the Montana border, is currently open to the “harvest” of grizzly bears.
Upper reaches of Stikine River in British Columbia.  Natives have fought mining and oil companies in what they call the "Sacred Headwaters" of major rivers.
Upper reaches of Stikine River in British Columbia. While much of the region is designated as provincial parkland, trophy hunting is permitted.

Grizzlies are protected in the “lower 48″ states of the U.S.  They are listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act, although there is some pressure to reopen hunting.  Alberta, to the east of B.C., suspended the hunting of grizzly bears seven years ago.
A major grizzly sanctuary, Glacier National Park in Montana, runs up to the Canadian border in the Flathead Valley.
Grizzly hunting in the Kootenay area was closed in 2011 as a result of too many kills of female grizzlies.  The second area is in the Cariboo region, specifically at the foot of the B.C. Coast Range near Tatlayoko and Chilko Lakes.  Chilko Lake is home to a great sockeye salmon run that sustains bears.  The “harvest” area  has been closed since 2000 because of hunter kills and such “conflict kills” as animals shot by ranchers.
British Columbia’s then-Premier Gordon Campbell virtually dismantled government wildlife management as part of budget cuts more than a decade ago.
The province now depends on self-reporting of grizzly kills by guide-outfitters, local hunters and ranchers or people alleging that they were endangered by bears.  About 300 bears are legally “harvested” by hunters in British Columbia each year, more than 100 by trophy hunters from outside the province.
“What they don’t have a handle on is unreported kills such as poaching,” said Artelle.  “There’s high uncertainty as to population estimates.”
The provincial government has claimed the province can sustain 682 grizzly kills each year, including 120 “unreported.”  It does not explain how it arrived at the latter figure.
In 1994, British Columbia did establish a provincial park in the Khutzymateen River, a north coast estuary famous for grizzly bears feeding on salmon.  Prince Philip was flown in by seaplane to do the dedication. The province also has banned trade in bear paws, gall bladders and genitalia.
Overlooked, however, is the fact that B.C. permits hunting of grizzly bears in most of its provincial parks.  Conservationists have uncovered illegal hunting platforms in such places as the Fjordland Recreation Area along the B.C. coast.
The Coastal First Nations, representing nine native groups, has banned trophy hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest along the British Columbia coast.  But the provincial government does not recognize the ban and claims jurisdiction.
The British Columbia government has given the public until Dec. 20 to comment on the proposed grizzly bear hunt.

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