BC Government Bans Grizzly Bear Hunting Across the Province


Vancouver, BC – (December 18, 2017)

Coastal First Nations and the Central Coast Bear Working Group are celebrating British Columbia’s announcement to end all grizzly bear hunting in the Great Bear Rainforest and across the province.

“We want to congratulate the BC government for enacting a grizzly bear hunting ban in Coastal First Nations territories, which is in line with our Indigenous Laws,” said Jessie Housty, a member of the Coastal First Nations Central Coast Bear Working Group. “We commend British Columbia for taking this important step toward reconciliation. Today’s announcement means we can now focus more of our energy on building a strong and sustainable coastal economy.”

The Central Coast Bear Working Group has spent almost a decade working to stop the grizzly hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest. “Our cultures and economies are tied directly to the health of the ecosystems in our territories. Bears are an integral part of these ecosystems,” said Housty. “That is why we took the bold step to protect bears in our territories through a tribal ban on trophy hunting in 2012.”

This announcement would not have been possible without the support of many other groups, including BC residents. “Recent public opinion polls showed that at least 74% of British Columbians are in favour of a total grizzly hunting ban in the province,” said Patrick Kelly, Board Chair of Coastal First Nations.

Kelly also pointed to a 2012 study by the Center for Responsible Travel, which found visitors to the Great Bear Rainforest spent 12 times as much money on bear watching as on trophy hunting. “A sustainable economy based on respect for an ecosystem that includes bears is not only possible but is necessary,” he said. “For the coastal economy to continue to grow, the key is recognizing the link between economic and ecological sustainability. It is not possible to achieve one without the other.”

“It’s wonderful to see that BC is taking a stand against grizzly trophy hunting: no meat hunting, no loopholes,” says Bear Working Group member and Kitasoo/Xai’xais Chief Douglas Neasloss.

Neasloss also said he is looking forward to further discussions with the BC government in 2018. “The Province has agreed to a Phase 2 approach to talk about the black bear hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest and other issues,” said Neasloss. “We look forward to working with the Province on wildlife management in our territories.”


For more information:

Jessie Housty
Central Coast Bear Working Group

Douglas Neasloss
Central Coast Bear Working Group

Patrick Kelly
Board Chair, Coastal First Nations