In early October a provincial government news release landed in the inboxes of reporters and researchers around B.C.
It boasted of a new government-commissioned report that concluded B.C. has “a high level of rigour and adequate safeguards in place to ensure the long-term stability of grizzly populations.”
Even though the report was less glowing than the news release and noted there are monitoring difficulties and a lack of funding, the review gave the BC Liberals the ammunition they needed to conclude the controversial practice of hunting grizzlies for sport is just fine.
But, here’s the thing: even if the province’s estimates of 15,000 grizzly bears in B.C. is correct — and it is a figure disputed by independent biologists, some of whom believe the number is as low as 6,000 — the stand-off over hunting intelligent animals for sport isn’t about the science. It’s about values and ethics.