Presented by the Raincoast Conservation Foundation, Capilano University, and North Shore Black Bear Society the BC Bear Day event provides a whole day to educate, inform and inspire you about British Columbia’s Bears.
FREE Family day session 11-4pm: Designed to inform and inspire children and families, there is everything from bear yoga, to face-painting, bear research class, an adventure in wildlife photography with local wildlife photographer Ian Harland, music, treats from Earnest Ice Cream, and fun activities from a host of community partners.
Speakers and panel discussion (6:30-8pm) (tickets available here) In the evening the event will shift gears with the main theme being co-existence. We will be welcomed by Charlene Aleck from the Tsleil-Waututh Nation and then the Takaya dancers. The evening’s main speaker will be Doug Neasloss, Stewardship Director for the Kitasoo /Xai’xais Nation and lead guide for Spirit Bear Adventures. Following Doug, other experts will join a panel to discuss how we can advance effective co-existence with bears throughout BC.
Following the arrests of 3 Coquitlam residents who spoke out against destruction of a mother black bear and her two cubs, our affiliates at the Fur Bearers have launched a petition to MLAs and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change calling for systemic changes to how community conflict with black bears is managed as deaths continue to rise, and signs of eroded public trust in the Conservation Officer Service become more apparent. Please add your voice to the shared call for: – the COS to employ preventative measures, give fines, and provide educational tools prior to lethal measures – third-party oversight be put into place to review and advise the actions of armed law enforcement agents – funding be made available to any municipality to increase by-law enforcement activities, specifically related to wildlife feeding and attractants – both the RAPP (Report All Pouchers and Polluters) line and by-law enforcement departments begin accepting anonymous information regarding by-law or provincial infractions that put wildlife and people at risk
Stop Animal Brutality has received information via a Freedom of Information Act request that no fines were given in 2018 on Vancouver Island by the BCCOS. However, Doug Forsdick, the BC Chief Conservation Officer, previously stated in a telephone conservation that fines were in fact being handed out. Fines act to deter irresponsible behaviours that attract and eventually result in the killing of wild animals. As the saying goes, “a fed bear is a dead bear”. It is our responsibility to learn and adjust our behaviours to co-habit with wild animals, and the COS responsibility to enforce responsible behaviour to protect the province’s creatures.
BC wildlife is facing increasing threats to survival with climate change and decreasing food stocks. The true sustainability and health of the region’s creatures requires suitable habitat, which is being destroyed at an unprecedented rate by the rampant pillaging of the forestry, fracking, and mining industries. As such, Stop Animal Brutality is assembling a Fall 2019 roundtable meeting with interest groups that don’t often see eye-to-eye, but share the common desire to preserve habitat. Together we will join forces to push the BC government to protect habitat for the true conservation of our wildlife against the greedy, profit-driven resource extraction industry. If you group is interested to join, email us at StopAnimalBrutality@gmail.com We are currently in talks with: Guide Outfitters Association of BC Commercial Bear Viewing Assocition of BC BC Wildlife Federation BC Nature Wilderness Committee Greenpeace Canada Ecojustice Outdoor Recreation Council of BC Raincoast Conservation Foundation LUSH Cosmetics Patagonia Clothing
A GoFundMe fundraiser has been launched to provide the best legal help possible for the three Coquitlam residents that were arrested for voicing their reasonable opposition to the killing of a mother bear and her two cubs. This legal case will matter for the future of all British Columbians, as we need to ensure all members of the public are protected and free to voice their concerns for each other and wildlife. It is vital that the “Coquitlam Three” receive the best legal defense possible. Please give what you can – anything beyond the needs for this case will be given to the Environmental Dispute Resolution Fund of Westcoast Environmental Law.
Through information obtained via a Freedom of Information Act request, Stop Animal Brutality has learned that over 70% of BC Conservation officers are licensed hunters. We have also learned that many of them are members of hunt clubs, are recruited from hunt clubs and via “pro-hunting” ad campaigns, and owners in taxidermy businesses. It makes sense that Conservation OfficerS would need to have an interest in the outdoors and would eventually require firearms training, however it is a severe conflict of interest that wildlife conservation officials pursue the hobby of tracking and killing animals in their free time.
On July 30, three people were arrested in Coquitlam for allegedly “obstructing” a Conservation Officer as he was chasing and attempting to kill a mother bear and her two baby cubs. There was a phone that was seized incidental to arrests which is believed to contain video of the situation. Bryce became involved when the BC Conservation Officer Service’s (BCCOS) statements to the media lacked consistency, with the stories stating there was merely verbal shouting that requested not killing the bears, to the parties arrested stepping between an officer and the bears he was chasing, to the parties arrested physically “obstructing” an officer. Witnesses say different. When Bryce posted on Aug 5, the BCCOS media liaison stated that the arrests were only made by Conservation Officers and this was to be a BCCOS investigation. The RCMP was present but simply responding to a call for assistance from the BCCOS. The RCMP made no arrests and was not going to conduct a police investigation into any of the arrested parties, nor did not read anyone their memorandum rights or seize the phone with video. Witness accounts state that residents came to the scene after hearing outside commotion, and several shouted to not kill the bears. The attending Conservation Officer is reported by witnesses to have become agitated, at which point he is stated to have yelling orders to people to go inside their homes under threat of arrest. As was told to Bryce by witnesses, nobody gets in the Conservation Officer’s way. Nobody follows him, touches him, or steps between him and the bears he was chasing. For the full article and updates visit Bryce’s website here
On July 29, Colin Dowler of Quadra Island escaped an encounter with a grizzly bear in Ramsay Arm, an area of remote wilderness 180km northeast of Powell River. He was by himself on a logging road when he was attacked by, then used a knife to stab the bear and fend off the attack. He escaped on his bike to a nearby workcamp where he received first aid before being airlifted to Vancouver General. All available Conservation Officers for the Sunshine Coast region were dispatched to hunt down and destroy the bear. While we are grateful he did not sustain life-threatening or fatal injuries, his choice to enter alone into the remote wilderness resulted in the subsequent pursuit and destruction of the bear in remote grizzly country, which is literal overkill. This hiker went against common sense and the recommendations from the BC Government website: he took the risk to enter alone into remote grizzly country. This was not a case of an aggressive habituated bear entering a residential neighbourhood; this was a human who willingly entered grizzly country on his own with the increased risk of conflict. Again, this another case of overzealous unnecessary aggression towards wildlife by our supposed “Conservation” officers. We demand independent oversight of the COS, and reprimand of the commanding officers for the actions!
Stop Animal Brutality was notified by a Gibsons resident that a black bear had been left in a bear cage on July 30 (see photo below). It is believed the bear was captured after coming to the residential area after habituated to garbage and attractants left out by residents. Thankfully the weather was cool and overcast, and neighbours provided water to the animal. However, no Conservation Officers were available to immediately attend to the bear, as all had been deployed on what appeared to be a manhunt to destroy a grizzly bear that encountered and attacked a lone hiker in remote grizzly country 180km northeast of Powell River. Not a single officer could be left behind to relocate this black bear, which was left in the cage upwards of 16 hrs. We contacted Sergeant Dean Miller of the South Coast Region of the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change, who confirmed that the bear was released.
Wildlife killing contests are unscientific, inherently inhumane, and morally indefensible. The government of British Columbia is currently allowing at least two such contests to take place, due to either a lack of legislation to prevent them, a lack of political will, or both. Animals will suffer and ecosystems will be damaged as a result of wildlife killing contests.
Visit The Fur Bearers to take action and tell decision makers and MLAs of British Columbia that just like trophy hunts, wildlife killing contests are not acceptable in 2019.
Sign the Petition
Join us in calling for a review of the hiring practices and for independent oversight of the BC Conservation Officer Service