Two grizzly bears captured on Cormorant Island near Alert Bay by conservation officers Sept. 22, 2016. Habitat loss and human conflict are significant threats to B.C. grizzly populations. (B.C. Conservation Officer Service)

UPDATE: Grizzly bear trophy hunting over in B.C.

Now only Indigenous people can hunt bears for meat

B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson has confirmed the NDP government has ended the trophy hunting of grizzly bears.

The fall grizzly hunting season ended Nov. 30, with new rules taking effect that allow hunters to take bear meat but not the head, paws or hide of bears that are prized as trophies. Donald said Monday the scheduled spring 2018 hunt for grizzly bears is cancelled.

Donaldson said all grizzly hunting has ended, except for Indigenous hunting for food, social and ceremonial purposes. By agreement with local Indigenous communities, all grizzly bear hunting has been stopped in the remote Central and North Coast region known as the Great Bear Rainforest.

It is no longer possible for resident or non-resident hunters to apply for a permit to hunt a grizzly for food, but provincial staff estimate that fewer than 100 hunters a year have been interested in that.

After the trophy hunt ban was announced in August, more than 4,000 people responded to the government’s invitation to comment, and 78 per cent of respondents supported the end of all grizzly hunting, Donaldson said.

The forests ministry estimates that about 250 of B.C.’s 1,500 grizzly bears were taken by hunters each year, in a limited-entry lottery hunt open to resident and non-resident hunters.

An October 2017 report on the hunt by B.C. Auditor General Carole Bellringer found that hunting is not the biggest threat to bears.

The greatest risk to B.C.’s grizzly bear population is not hunting but degradation of habitat from forestry, oil and gas development and human settlement, Bellringer concluded. The audit also found that from 2006 to 2015, there were 389 bears killed as a result of human-bear conflicts.

Environment Minister George Heyman said the government is moving ahead with improved grizzly bear inventory measures, and the NDP government’s first budget in February is expected to deal with his “understaffed” ministry to step up enforcement of the ban on trophy hunting.

In 2016, wildlife biologists from the University of Alberta and the University of Minnesota gave the B.C. government a passing mark for management of its grizzly hunt, making 51 recommendations for improving habitat protection and population estimates.

Just Posted

WATCH: Langley fire trucks collide on icy roads

The fire trucks crashed while responding to a crash on the same snow-covered stretch.

Stealth shake up coaching before Langley game

The team will shuffle coaching responsiblities this week.

Seniors housing town hall offers funding resources to developers

Provincial, federal funds to create units for seniors; no details on Cloverdale or Langley projects

WHAT’S IN STORE: Langley chamber team deserves a shout out for all its efforts

VIDEO: Editor Roxanne Hooper offers a weekly look at business happenings in Langley.

Langley curling couple bound for provincials in Creston

Craig and Karen Lepine are skipping their own teams in the upcoming BC masters curling competition.

WATCH From Langley to PyeongChang: Men’s curling and Olympic amenities

Langley’s Kevin Kim is in Korea for the 2018 Winter Olympics and sends his second dispatch.

Northern B.C. short 121 registered nurses: report

Auditor General says officials need to improve internal management, track effect of new policies

B.C. businesses say new health tax will raise prices for consumers

Province announced that MSP will be gone by 2020

B.C. family says care home switched mom’s cat with robot cat

Staff alleged to have said they were taking cat for bath, then replaced her with robotic stuffed toy

B.C. speculation tax applies to out-of-province homeowners

Albertans with Okanagan, Island properties hit, Kootenays could come later

Barnful of ducks die in early morning blaze

The cause of the fire is unknown

Horses and science combine for new program at Fraser Valley school

‘I get to do something I’m passionate about,’ says Chilliwack equine studies student

Thieves make off with live trolley wires in Vancouver

Authorities warn that touching live wire can be deadly

WATCH: Vancouver Island family builds eight-foot igloo in yard

Sunday snowfall on the mid-Island leads to all-day family activity

Most Read