LETTER: ‘Alternative facts’ used to justify grizzly bear hunt

By on May 19, 2017
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After reading the column VOHRINGER: Trophy hunters targeted in election propaganda, I was reminded that “alternative facts” aren’t confined to U.S. politics.

Dispelling the many myths in this column would require far more lines than I could reasonably expect any newspaper to allocate to the topic.

Instead may I point to two obvious reason politicians are adopting anti-trophy hunting policies: overwhelming public opposition to the hunt and common sense economic policy.

First, on the topic of public opinion, the recent Insights West survey of rural B.C. ridings and their attitudes toward the grizzly bear trophy hunt reinforced long held beliefs that all British Columbians share some common values when it comes to protecting our wilds and their inhabitants.  

Killing our iconic grizzly bears simply for entertainment is one issue British Columbians are overwhelmingly opposed to.

Politicians are simply falling into line proposing policy that reflects what British Columbians have been asking for.

Second, there are sound economic reasons to oppose the trophy hunt.

Grizzly bear viewing in B.C. is now worth up to 10x more than grizzly hunting.

Further, grizzly bear viewing operations throughout the province are at, or close to, capacity with demand continuing to grow.

Unfortunately bear viewing areas are extremely limited because the majority of the province is open to grizzly bear hunting which makes them incompatible with bear viewing operations.

This is an amazing opportunity that rural British Columbians are missing out on. Absent trophy hunting bear viewing operations could expand and entirely new operations could start up, and with that, new jobs created in the community.

The trophy hunt, which by one study, is a net cost to B.C. taxpayers to administer, is a direct impediment to one of B.C. tourism’s growth segments and for new jobs and new business ventures that it represents for rural B.C.

In short, another name for a trophy hunter is job killer.  Fortunately British Columbians and many of our politicians are waking up to that fact.

Barry Komar

Vancouver, B.C.


  1. BC Gray

    May 19, 2017 at 11:46 am

    Always amazes me how some one from Vancouver, can pontificate so much, on something they know so little of. They keep trying to tell us folks that “Do live in the country” how and what to do when they cannot run their own community

    • JP Winston

      May 20, 2017 at 7:25 am

      I’m not from Vancouver. I live in the Interior and photograph Grizzlies regularly. YOU are the one who is incorrect here. I not only live in the country, I grew up in the country. Killing any animal to make an ornament is astoundingly stupid, wasteful and immoral. There’s a reason Maui has whale watching, dolphin watching and turtle watching tours. All of those animals are hunted in other parts of the world, but in Maui it’s a multi-million dollar industry and the whales attract tourists from all over the world who end up spending money at many, many other businesses as well. In BC, we are doing the equivalent of shooting the animals that could attract thousands of tourists, not dozens. And you think that is smart or defensible? Think again!

      • BC Gray

        May 21, 2017 at 5:30 pm

        Think for a moment if you will about your son/grandson/daughter being paid minimum wage to entertain foreign tourist who have killed most of their wild stock, so they can gawk at our wild life. Great job for the few that can get it and they are not supporting the local Maui economy as you would like to state.

        If you indeed live in the country, then why pen a letter allegedly from Vancouver. Folks like myself and many others have watched as laws passed by our Urban cousins have crippled our interior economy. We have watched as our children having left the country, due to lack of jobs, and are losing there country roots to the greed and avarice of the City crowds.

        Trophy hunting is but a small part of the shrinking hunting scene, and per animal taken generates the highest financial portion to our First Nation guides. Just take a look at the wild stock counts, and you will see that they are not only thriving, but exploding in most species.

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