Target: Spirit Bear Lodge
Goal: Commend new campaign to get hunters more interested in appreciating bears than killing them
In 2012, British Columbia’s Coastal First Nations (CFN), a coalition of First Nations groups, formally denounced trophy hunting for bears in a ban that sought to protect grizzlies and black bears in their territories, and to protect in particular a rare all-white species called the Spirit Bear. However, the province has neglected to enact a similar law and instead continues to hold biannual bear hunts within First Nations territory. So the CFN has decided to take action to show hunters themselves the value of the bears by offering a grand prize grizzly viewing trip to two trophy hunters who will agree to relinquish their authorizations for hunting grizzly within First Nations lands. The prize, which will be awarded based on a random draw, “includes round-trip airfare for two, five nights’ deluxe island accommodation, and daily adventures deep into grizzly country with experienced professional guides,” according to the CFN release.
This campaign cites a recent study by the Center for Responsible Tourism, a Stanford University research institute in Washington, D.C., which found that bear viewing, compared with hunting, garners 12 times more visitor spending and provides more jobs for locals in British Columbia. Indeed the study demonstrates that the government actually spends more than it makes on bear hunting. Banning trophy hunting would be a sustainable and fiscally responsible decision that most citizens of the province support. Douglas Neasloss, Kitasoo/Xai’xais Stewardship Director and Spirit Bear Lodge’s lead guide, commented, “You don’t have to harvest a resource to get value from a resource. Bears bring huge value to coastal ecosystems, and to my community in terms of a sustainable economy.”
By signing this petition, you are thanking the Spirit Bear Lodge and CFN for taking an active stance against trophy hunting and natural resource destruction in British Columbia. You are thanking them for creating this innovative campaign to encourage trophy hunters to exchange their guns for cameras and to comprehend the full value of the bears as an integral part of their ecosystem.
Dear Spirit Bear Lodge and lead guide Douglas Neasloss,
I am inspired by your recent campaign to end trophy hunting in First Nations lands by asking the hunters themselves to see the beauty and importance of the bears in the Great Bear Rainforest. This campaign captures the multifaceted argument against hunting bears for trophies, and provides an alternative to trophy hunters for a more humane sport.
Thank you for standing up against trophy hunting with this creative campaign to get hunters to trade their guns for cameras. Thank you for working to educate hunters and government officials about the true costs of hunting and the benefits of increased investment in ecotourism. I encourage you to expand this campaign to encourage more hunters to relinquish their hunting authorizations.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Charles J Sharp via Wikimedia Commons