Stanford University study: Watching bears is Exponentially more profitable than killing them
“We found that the bear viewing is generating 12 times more in visitor spending than is bear hunting, and over 11 times more in direct revenue for the B.C. province,” researcher, Martha Honey, Centre for Responsible Tourism, Stanford University, Washington D.C. (http://bearmatters.com/bear-watching-more-profitable-than-bear-hunting-says-study/ )
The Centre for Responsible Tourism is calling on the B.C. government to revise its hunting policies considering findings that viewing bears is exponentially more profitable than killing them: “ A comparison of the number of jobs generated by each industry also points to the need for a policy change. Researchers found companies involved in bear viewing employed 510 people in 2012, while 11 people worked for guide outfitters in the same year.”
“It seemed to us quite clear that the government is spending more to sort of manage and oversee hunting than it is earning from revenue from hunting,” she said.
(The Wisconsin DNR has to prove to the hunters that all of the revenue of hunting goes back into providing more hunting. http://dnr.wi.gov/wnrmag/2013/02/fwbrochure.pdf )
More black bears are killed in Wisconsin than anywhere else on earth – 14.000 of them in the past two and a half years. Two-thirds of bears killed are cubs less than 2 years old. The trophy hunters set dogs on them from July 1 through mid-October, baiting them emerging from hibernation through the kill.
As Wisconsin’s DNR is exposed for paying criminals for dogs they throw to wolves, even when hunting illegally http://host.madison.com/news/local/state-pays-scofflaws-for-dogs-killed-by-wolves-while-hunting/article_1a704d56-3121-5720-aa27-7c89a693e4de.html, indigenous people in Canada are banning trophy hunting.
Native people who live amongst their wildlife are fighting back – with real science, economic impact statistics, and their loving relationship to bears as brothers. This revealing video filmed by B.C.’s coastal first nations tells the history of Indian relationship to their bears. It documents the community reaction to an American hunter violating their no hunting signs, killing and decapitating Cheeky, a young grizzly named and beloved by the locals: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=NDg24d8fF1Q
The Nuxalk nation creation story describes their people coming from the upper worlds in the beginning of time. On the walls of heaven hung all the different coats of the animals, and the first people were given the choice of what form they would like to use to move between the worlds. They chose the grizzly bear as a direct connection to the Creator.
A young leader of the Nuxalk nation, Megan Moody says, “A lot of people from around the world want to come to see bears and this brings our people out on the land. It’s a real opportunity to get involved…. Science is basically adding to the arguments that we already have as aboriginal people. We have always had an understanding of bears that we should live with them. Bears have been allowed to be killed based on how many bears – but changing the bear behavior – there is something out of balance there, and how dependent they are on the fish and the fish stocks are falling all over the place. And I don’t see how those population estimates can be correct. We really do not know how many are there – deforestation, declining salmon stocks and climate change – I would rather protect them and have them around for thousands of years rather than pretend we know what is going on and continue the needless killing of them.”
Let’s reiterate that – the state pretending to know what is going on to kill needlessly for trophy.
In September, 2012, British Columbia’s first nations issued a formal ban on trophy hunting of all bears, black, grizzlies and kermode bears, across the territories of nine signatory nations. These interlocking territories cover most of the Great Bear Rainforest.
9 out of 10 Canadians support the ban.
However, like Wisconsin, the fish and game agencies of Canada are corrupted by the bias of entrenched hunter control and intend to continue to kill bears and other wildlife for trophy.
Robert Johnson of the Heiltsuk Nation: “Most of the bears, we would be about fifty yards from them and just talk to them and tell them who we are and what we are doing there. These bear hunters that come in and sit in the grasses and hide and wait for a bear to come out, and go home and brag about it and tell their friends, ‘Look what I got.’ They come up to this beautiful country and come home with this hide.”
Dr. Chris Darimont, the University of Victoria scientist who studied Cheeky’s remains reported, “Cheeky was 5 or 6 years old, probably three years since he left his mother and her range. He probably had not fathered any cubs yet being so young and relatively small. In a long lived species that might live 25 – 30 years in the absence of sport hunting, he may have fathered a hundred cubs in his life. The idea that this hunt is based on sound science to me and to a great many other scientists, is absurd, for a number of reasons. But in an overarching way, science provides information, but it does not provide permission to behave unethically. For me, this is the primary issue at stake here. This is unethical behavior. To kill something without eating it.”
Frank Hanuse, Wuikinuxv Nation, said he had killed one grizzly in his life. He said he felt good about it at first, but when he started skinning it, it looked just like a human. “I got that feeling like killing my own brother…
They’re us. We’re them. This is ours. We share it. We have been living with them so close for years and years. We feel like they are family. And we don’t like hunters just coming in here and blasting away and just taking a head. This is not just a first nation issue. We have to protect them now.”
That means replacing our legislators with people who respect science and have common sense.
Three DNR hearings remain Jan. 21, 22 and 23 (Eau Claire, Wausau and Fitchburg) for citizens to give input on “permanent” rules promoting expanded hunting and trapping in state parks:http://dnr.wi.gov/news/Weekly/?id=412#art3
Patricia Randolph of Portage is a longtime activist for wildlife. firstname.lastname@example.org or www.wiwildlifeethic.org