OK In Health - Environmental Care

The grizzlies deserve better neighbours - June 2020

By David Suzuki and Michelle Connolly

By Environment Care Articles

grizzly bear need an environment to live

 Grizzly bears are a lot like people. They eat both plants and animals, just like us. They need a place to live and room to move. They mate and have families, just as humans do. They once lived in the places we now occupy, including the prairies where they fed on bison, and south into Mexico. Grizzlies are so similar to us that, as naturalist and author Doug Peacock notes, they are the one animal on this continent that really challenges our top slot on the food pyramid, our dominion, and our control.

Like many large-bodied and wide-ranging animals, grizzlies are facing declining populations and shrinking habitat across much of their range because of our insatiable need for space and resources. In addition to the effects of climate change on high-value grizzly foods like pine nuts, humans destroy and fragment grizzly habitat with industrial, recreational, and urban development.

Sometimes we kill grizzlies directly by trophy hunting, poaching, hitting them with cars, or destroying “problem bears” that eat our garbage. According to the B.C. government, 317 grizzlies were killed in British Columbia last year, mostly in the legal trophy hunt.

We can make up for being the worst neighbour ever. Because we know which human activities are incompatible with the needs of grizzlies, we need to designate areas where those activities are controlled or are not permitted. Creating Grizzly Bear Management Areas is one way to accomplish conservation that lasts.

Grizzly Bear Management Areas are essentially “bear parks,” areas big enough to provide for the long-term needs of healthy grizzly populations. With the support of First Nations and other communities, a system of GBMAs would cover parts of B.C. that are of high value to grizzlies. These areas would be free of industrial development, with limited road access. They would be connected through undeveloped corridors to allow movement between populations, sort of like grizzly bear freeways. Such movement is essential to genetic health. Sport hunting of grizzlies would not be allowed.

Although opinions vary about the ideal size and location of GBMAs, research indicates that up to 68 per cent of grizzly bear habitat should be managed for the needs of bears.

Management areas are not a new idea. The B.C. government committed to the concept in its 1995 report A Future for the Grizzly: British Columbia Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy. The report states that the primary goal is to “maintain in perpetuity the diversity and abundance of Grizzly Bears and the ecosystems on which they depend throughout British Columbia.” However, despite a great deal of public input and scientific analysis, this strategy has yet to be adequately implemented.

The good news is that a precedent has been set for protecting grizzlies and their habitat throughout B.C. In the Great Bear Rainforest on B.C.’s coast, GBMAs with hunting bans have been established in the Ahnuhati-Ahta Kwalate, Kimsquit-Upper Dean-Tweedsmuir, and Nass-Skeena. The Nass-Skeena GBMA complements the Khutzeymateen/K'tzim-a-Deen grizzly sanctuary, established in 1994.

Further good news is that the Alberta government has reconfirmed its commitment to suspend the grizzly bear hunt until the threatened population there has recovered, as required in the provincial recovery plan adopted in 2008.

In B.C., many scientists believe we need more GBMAs. And we still don’t have the comprehensive network that the government promised more than 15 years ago, which was supposed to create GBMAs in all of the province’s 57 grizzly bear population units. Because most grizzly bears are killed away from the coast, GBMAs must be designated inland as well.

How do we know that GBMAs work? In northwest Montana, large amounts of habitat are protected from motorized access and other human intrusions, and grizzly hunting is prohibited under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Grizzly populations in these areas have increased dramatically for more than two decades.

This shows that the combination of habitat protection and hunting restrictions might keep grizzlies from declining further in other parts of their range. We have the motivation and tools to protect grizzly bears, but it will take a renewed commitment to conservation by the B.C. government to ensure the long-term survival and health of our wild and cherished neighbours. Let’s work together to make sure this happens soon.

Written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation science technician Michelle Connolly.




Environment  Care  ArticlesEnvironment Care's Bio: OK In Health started a GREEN wellness e-Magazine in 2004. We wanted to start a magazine that was completely green with a zero footprint.


Kelowna Holistic Market

Copyright © 2004- 2011 OKinHealth.com. This article is of the copyright of OK in Health and the author; any reproduction, duplication and transmission of the article are to have prior written approval by OK in Health or the author.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER
This information and research is intended to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All material in this article is provided for information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this newsletter / e-magazine / website. Readers should consult their doctor and other qualified health professionals on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions provided in this newsletter / e-magazine/website are believed to be accurate and sound, based on the best judgment available to the authors. Readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries. The publisher is not responsible for any errors or omissions. OK in Health is not responsible for the information in these articles or for any content included in this article which is intended as a guide only and should not be used as a substitute to seeking professional advice from either your doctor or a registered specialist for yourself or anyone else.
Connect with Us
facebook    twitter

Maria's Ireland Sacred Tours


Wellness Tip
Smoking
Did you know that compared to a nonsmoker, a pack a day smoker has twice the risk of heart attack, three times the risk of stroke, four times the risk of peripheral vascular disease and six times the risk of aortic aneurysm? If you don't smoke - don't start! If you do smoke - seriously consider quitting. Help is available via the Canadian Heart Association, the Canadian Cancer Society and many local providers.


Maria's Ireland Sacred Tours


Wellness Directory
Energy Balancing with Michelle Parry
Specialty: Energy Workers
Energy balancing for Grounding, Clarity, Acceptance and Choice. Go to the root cause of your issues, change their energy and awaken yourself to a whole new world of possibilities.
View Details


Celtic Healings Intuitive Readings with Maria O'Farrell Carr


Event
Ferlow botanicals - natural products


Article
Chakradance® - What is it Anyway?
Held in a safe sacred space Chakradance® combines free-form spontaneous movement with especially composed worldly music to bring balance and healing to participants.
Full Article


Maria's Ireland Sacred Tours


Recipe
Mushroom Risotto
Category: Side Dishes
Description: In general, mushrooms are low in energy, virtually free of fat, a valuable source of fibre and are cholesterol and carbohydrate-free. Emerging research indicates that certain mushroom extracts, such as beta-glucans, may have a positive effect on the immune system. Medicinal properties have been attributed to mushrooms for thousands of year. Benefit to the immune system may be one of them.
Full Recipe


Celtic Healings Intuitive Readings with Maria O'Farrell Carr