Ending Trophy Hunting – Protecting Species and Ecosystems

The Great Bear Rainforest is named for the multitude of grizzlies, black bears and rare white Spirit bears found in our Traditional Territories. They play a significant role in our rainforest ecosystems, culture and economies.

Coastal First Nations have taken bold steps to protect bears. In September 2013, nine Nations announced a ban on commercial trophy hunting.  Biologists, economists and thousands of British Columbians agreed.

Now Coastal First Nations Great Bear Initiative has achieved provincial protection for bears in our Traditional Territories. In early 2016, CFN Great Bear Initiative secured an agreement with British Columbia for a moratorium on commercial trophy hunting.

Why Protect Bears?

  • Trophy hunting is inconsistent with First Nations traditional teaching and values. When we hunt, it’s for sustenance purposes, not trophies.
  • Hunting grizzly bears hurts ecotourism industries our communities are developing. Wildlife viewing at Spirit Bear Lodge in Klemtu on the Central Coast is an example of creating local jobs while sustaining healthy nature.
  • Bears play an incredibly important role in coastal ecosystems. They nourish the old growth forest with marine nutrients from the huge numbers of salmon carcasses they feed on. Giant trees enriched by these nutrients shade and help regulate streams below that are nurseries for new generations of salmon.

Bears Forever

Support bear research and protection.

Bears Forever

As Coastal First Nations, we are working to keep our cultures vibrant, our coastal ecosystems healthy and our local economies strong.

Helping bears to thrive in our Traditional Territories is an important part of these efforts.

Bears Forever is a project of Coastal First Nations and the Central Coast First Nations Bear Working Group. It promotes research, monitoring and protection to keep bears healthy throughout the Great Bear Rainforest.

The Central Coast First Nations Bear Working Group

The Central Coast First Nations Bear Working Group brings together elected leaders, scientists, and stewardship personnel from four of our communities in the heart of the Great Bear Rainforest. These interlocking territories cover 45,000 square kilometres of prime coastal bear habitat.

  • Wuikinuxv Nation in Rivers Inlet
  • Heiltsuk Nation in Bella Bella
  • Kitasoo/Xai’xais Nation in Klemtu
  • Nuxalk Nation in Bella Coola

By coordinating research methods for the first time, these Nations are working together to track and identify the same bears as they move from one territory to the next. ​​​​​​

Why Ban Trophy Hunting?

  • Hunters should eat what they kill
  • Trophy hunting makes no economic sense
  • Bear hunting gets in the way of sound science
  • First Nations have a responsibility to protect bears