B C Outfitters Seek Lawsuit to Challenge Grizzly Bear Hunting Ban

B C Outfitters Seek Lawsuit to Challenge Grizzly Bear Hunting Ban Outdoor Life

British Columbia Outfitters Seek Class-Action Suit Challenging Grizzly Bear Hunting Ban

Grizzly bear hunting was banned in British Columbia in 2017. Hunting guides and outfitters filed a lawsuit in 2018 and are now seeking certification of a class-action suit against the government to lift the ban. They argue that it caused undue financial harm and was unnecessary for conservation.

In their petition to the B.C. Supreme Court, hunting ban on grizzly bears is claimed to have devastated more than 100 guide outfitters in B.C., according to Richmond News. Ron Fleming and his wife, Brenda Nelson, of Love Bros. & Lee, a hunting guide and outfitter company in the province, are leading the effort.

“This sudden change was devastating for Ron and Brenda Fleming,” the petition states. “And it was devastating to the 118 other guide outfitters (and) small business owners … who also relied on the grizzly bear hunt for some or all of their livelihood.”

The petition argues that the minister banned hunting for political reasons and that these decisions were “not consistent with the purposes of the Wildlife Act, and were an abuse of the authority that act conferred.”

Prior to 2017, non-resident hunters needed to hire a certified hunting guide, who received quotas to hunt various species, sometimes including grizzlies, within a region for five years. Each grizzly hunt was valued at $12,500, with an additional fee if the customer successfully killed a bear, according to the Richmond News.

B C Outfitters Seek Lawsuit to Challenge Grizzly Bear Hunting Ban Outdoor Life

When the decision to ban the hunt was made, Fleming requested an explanation from the Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development. He received no information and submitted a freedom of information request. The response he received was heavily redacted and unsatisfactory, according to Fleming.

See also  Crow Hunting Wisconsin Tips Regulations and Best Locations

Fleming initially brought the case to court in late 2018, seeking damages and accusing negligent representation and knowingly stopping grizzly bear hunts without lawful reason, as reported by The Canadian Press. The Province argued that it needed more information to understand the claim and defend itself, but in December 2018, the court accepted Fleming’s lawyer’s arguments and dismissed the Province’s application.

The ban was put in place due to public opinion rather than scientific evidence. In 2017, there were approximately 15,000 grizzly bears in B.C., which accounts for 25 percent of the total population in North America. B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson stated, “It is no longer socially acceptable to the vast majority of British Columbians to hunt grizzly bears. That’s the message.”

The ban was largely influenced by a viral video showing a grizzly bear being shot multiple times during a hunt. This video fueled anti-hunting sentiment for grizzly bears in B.C., leading to the government implementing the ban. In early 2018, Ben Long wrote in an article for O.L., “A decade ago, the killing of a grizzly bear would have had one or two witnesses: a hunter and perhaps a guide or companion. Today, killing a grizzly bear can be seen by millions of viewers on social media who won’t know the context of the hunt or the game management reasoning behind it.”

Regardless of the outcome of the lawsuit, it serves as a reminder that social media posts about hunting can go viral and have a significant impact on hunting laws and regulations. Hunters must be responsible and accountable for their social media activity.

See also  Is it legal to kill squirrels in NY Exploring the laws and regulations

Regardless of the lawsuit’s outcome, it’s essential to remember that social media posts about hunting can go viral and affect hunting laws and regulations. Hunters should be accountable and responsible for their actions on social media.