The Province of B.C.’s Draft Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework and Draft Commercial Bear Viewing Strategy are a long time coming. The current policy for grizzly bear management dates back to 1995! In 2017 the Auditor General recognized that “there is no plan to implement the strategic direction for grizzly bears in B.C.” and recommended creating and implementing a grizzly bear management plan.
Six years later, promising progress has been made for grizzly bears, as evident in the shift in the document’s title. The process has moved away from the term “management” and towards “stewardship,” thanks to the perspective and input of Indigenous leadership. (Read more about the problems with Wildlife Management here).
This once-a-generation opportunity could create a world-leading plan for wildlife stewardship. But more still needs to be done to strengthen the stewardship of grizzly bears and their habitats and promote a healthy and sustainable commercial bear-viewing industry. Together we can carve the path forward for the grizzlies in B.C. in an innovative, inclusive and effective way, accurately reflecting the values of B.C. residents and First Nations.