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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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Sunday, March 15, 2015

In early 2014, British Columbia, Canadian Political Liberals controversially re-opened the grizzly hunt in two pockets of the province in the Caribou and Kootenay hunting areas............The Mining Minister of this Province, Bill Bennett, was also given high-level briefings in early January to re-start the trophy hunt................ Provincial biologists(are they in on this scam--likely) calculated that grizzlies in the west Chilcotin wilderness were rising by 91 bears over a year prior.................. So certain bureaucrats appear to have seen that as support for a proposed new gold mine.................New mines would mean more roads for hunters to drive in and kill an already threatened grizzly population in B.C

Grizzly bears seen as

 gold for mining,

 B.C. gov't emails reveal


Grizzly bears

 seen as gold

 for mining, 

B.C. gov't emails


FOI investigation reveals that senior
 B.C. bureaucrats seized on the 
province's rising grizzly bear
 numbers —disputed by researchers
to "mitigate” the impacts of mining
grizzly bears great bear rainforest trophy hunt Andrew Wright Vancouver ObserverRelaxing grizzly bear. Photo by Andrew S. Wright.
Senior B.C. wildlife bureaucrats seized upon the
 province's rising
 grizzly bear numbers —figures disputed by 
university scientists
 — as helpful for new mining, as well as
 trophy hunts, internal 
emails reveal.
The Freedom of Information (FOI) released
 memos were obtained by theVancouver Observer.
In early 2014, the BC Liberals controversially 
re-opened the grizzly
 hunt in two pockets of the province in the
 Caribou and Kootenay 
hunting areas. Mining Minister Bill Bennett 
was also given high-
level briefings on January 7 to re-start the
 trophy hunt, the memos 
Provincial biologists calculated that
 grizzlies in the west Chilcotin
 wilderness were rising by 91 bears
 over a year prior. So certain
 bureaucrats appear to have seen that
 as support for a proposed
“[By] all accounts there’s a few critters
 to spare, but my question
 is whether they might be kept handy 
to help mitigate a new mine
,” wrote Gerry MacDougall, a wildlife 
manager with the Forests,
 Lands and Natural Resources 
ministry, at the time.
"Do you know if anyone connected
 those dots for [the Minister’s]
 consideration?” he asked.
Assistant Deputy Minister Richard
 Manwaring replied: "I don’t
 know Gerry. It’s an annual [hunting]
 decision, so we could 
revisit that for sure if the mine
 became real I think.” 
An active mine proposal at the
 time was Taseko's "New 
Prosperity" gold-copper project, 
until it was rejected last
 year. A federal panel concluded 
that there "would be a
 significant adverse cumulative 
effect on the South 
Chilcotin grizzly bear population, 
unless necessary cumulative 
effects mitigation measures are 
effectively implemented."
The mine remains fiercely 
opposed by the 
Ts'ilhqot'in Nation,
 fresh off a Supreme Court
 land-rights victory.

"Worrisome" use 

of grizzly 

data by 

B.C. government

One grizzly bear policy expert 
growled at what
 he sees
 as the province's odd use of bears
 for industrial 
"This is very worrisome,” reacted
 Faisal Moola,
 a forestry
 professor at the University of 
Toronto on Thursday.
"They’re using this contested
evidence that grizzly 
bear numbers are increasing, to
 justify not only a 
controversial [hunting] activity
 that a majority of
 British Columbians are against,
 but also to justify
 resource development in those 
areas as well." 
 "This shows a real lack of 
understanding of the 
science,” he added. 
grizzly hunting open 2014 map regions caribou kootenay
Provincial government map of the two areas opened grizzly
 hunting in 2014: the Caribou and Kootenay Boundary
 management areas.  
In response to questions from the Vancouver 
Observer on Thursday, a Forests, Lands and

"[The] interpretation of this email is inaccurate,"
 said Bethel. 
Rather, Bethel stated, the wildlife director was 
inquiring "as to whether other impacts to bear
 populations (such as habitat disturbance from 
mining) were also factored into consideration
 before allowing a Limited Entry Hunt.”  
In other emails discussing how to brief Minister
 Bennett, the same wildlife director repeated the 
idea that the alleged uptick in grizzly population
 numbers could be used as a way to mitigate 
resource-extraction impacts. 
“If there is a harvestable surplus [of grizzlies]
 the Minister of Forestry Lands and Natural
 Resources could consider those to offset the
 cumulative effects of resource development,”
 he wrote.
The presumption of a "surplus" of grizzlies is
 not shared by everyone. Moola, who doubles 
as a director general with the David Suzuki 
Foundation, says scientists doubt the 
government’s bear count, which suggests 
there are 15,000 grizzlies in B.C.
A recent study by SFU and the University 
of Victoria found the province's grizzly count
 science had a high degree of uncertainty.
grizzly bear andrew wright vancouver observer trophy hunt
Grizzly bears photographed by Andrew Wright.

Pipelines, mining, fracking and 

logging leave bears vulnerable

But more bothersome, said Moola, is that new 
mines would mean more roads for hunters to 
drive in and kill an already threatened grizzly
 population in B.C. — one of the last places on the 
planet where the apex predators roam.
"Despite being large and ferocious animals, they
 are incredibly vulnerable to human activities," he
He says B.C. grizzlies are mainly killed in two ways
: 90 per cent from hunters, and the rest from industry
 "punching roads into their wilderness habitat" to 
create access for logging, fracking, mines and pipelines.
Bears get hit by trucks, trains, and get into conflict
 with people at dumps and work camps where they
 are often shot as problem bears, he added.
One study found grizzly bears in central B.C.
 tended to die close to roads.
Provincial briefing notes also reveal ministers were
 given message tracks that said the trophy hunt was 
based on "sound science" — wording repeated to 
aGlobal TV reporter when asked if the shooting of
 grizzlies just for sport was immoral.  

The province maintains its grizzly counts passed 
the sniff test in peer-reviewed studies in scientific 
Still, the FOI e-mails also show BC officials 
scrambling to respond to an increasing maelstrom
 of negative media reports about the Liberals plan
to re-open the grizzly hunt.  
The Caribou wilderness area had been off-limits to 
grizzly hunters since 2000, due to over kills by people.
“We are getting some press over the proposed grizzly
 regs that have gone up on our website.  Can some 
one make sure Minister Bill Bennett is fully briefed 
and aware of this?  Thanks,” wrote Forestry, Lands
 and Natural Resources Minister Steve Thomson on 
Dec.9, 2013 to his staff. 
Government biologists bristled at news reports 
attacking their models that said their bear numbers 
do not add up.
“The Canadian Press sure lapped it up, anything 
critical of the grizzly bear hunt gets top billing,” 
wrote the government's wildlife research ecologist
 Bruce McLellan. 

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