Send Feedback and Stop the Clock on The Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework

On July 12, 2023 the B.C government released a draft of the Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework, a 75-page document outlining how grizzly bears in British Columbia are to be managed. This is the first time there has been an update for grizzly conservation in almost 30 years, and the first time in decades that the B.C. government is asking for feedback on grizzly bear stewardship. Over 40 organizations such as the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs  as well as individual  bear experts signed an open letter asking for an extension beyond the initial deadline of August 18th, and for improvements to the engagement process in general. A small extension was granted to October 6th – 4pm, but this is not enough time and does not address the other  concerns they raised.

Send your own letter to demand:

  1. More time to respond to the Framework – until at least December 31, 2023
  2. The inclusion of strong language, clear guidelines and accountability for protecting and restoring habitat and preventing the re-opening of the grizzly bear trophy hunt.
  3. Opposition to provincial & federal responsibilities being handed off to local and regional advisory committees for grizzly bears (and all wildlife).


You can write your own letter drawing from the key talking points listed below or, if you are a B.C. resident, you can also choose to sign and send our pre-written letter.

Send a Personalized Email or Letter

Personal notes are highly valued. Introduce yourself, where you are from and some key points outlining why you care about B.C. grizzly bear stewardship. Even a short and simple note can make a difference.

The ministry in charge of the Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework is the Ministry of Forests, headed by Bruce Ralston. Here is his contact information:

Honourable Bruce Ralston
Ministry of Forests
Government of British Columbia
Phone: (250) 387-6240
Fax: (250) 387-1040

You can send your letter directly to the premier of British Columbia:
B.C. Premier David Eby (

Consider cc’ing these other influential people:

Desirae Bowlby, Director, Citizen Engagement,

Hon. Nathan Cullen, Minister of Water, Land and Resource Stewardship,

Hon. Lana Popham, Minister of Tourism, Arts, Culture and Sport,

Hon. Steven Guilbeault, Federal Minister of Environment and Climate Change,

National Aboriginal Council on Species at Risk,

Coastal First Nations,

Hon. George Heyman, Environment Minister and Climate Change of B.C.,

Parliamentary Secretary for the Environment,

Logan Wenham, BC Director of Fish & Wildlife,

Hon. Minister Murray Rankin, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation,

Sonia Furstenau, Leader of the B.C. Green Party,

Adam Olsen, Green MLA,

Stand up for grizzlies by sending an email to B.C. Premier David Eby (, letting him know that British Columbia bears are of both national and international concern. You can send an email even if you’re not a resident of B.C., or you can even choose to write a letter to your local paper.

Here are some talking points to consider

  • Canada  needs to  show global leadership: The grizzly bear has all but disappeared below the 48th parallel of North America. People are looking to British Columbia to show global leadership in protecting this important umbrella species. There is currently a bill in Idaho to delist grizzly bears from endangered species protections – these are ‘bears without borders’ with ranges spanning the international border.
  • Accountability for protecting grizzlies at risk:  The draft framework suggests  that governance of grizzly bear stewardship will be handed off to regional groups. This  raises many questions around how to manage accountability to provincial and federal commitments to grizzlies: Grizzlies are listed as a species of special concern on the provincial blue list and federally in the Species at Risk Act. The framework does not explain how these committees would be set up, nor does it include a Terms of Reference defining what the committee is authorized to do. Read more about this in Valhalla Wilderness Society’s newsletter.
  • Gaps in data could lead to devastating decisions:  There is not an accurate population estimate for grizzly bears in British Columbia upon which to base policy or ‘management’ decisions, as stated in the framework. The population is estimated at 15 000, though “most populations lack adequate abundance data to detect changes in population trend” (p. v).  Incorrect population counts were previously responsible for an increase in grizzly bear mortality, as noted by Mowat and Lamb in 2016, who observed that 12 population units surpassed allowable kill rates, with the South Rockies experiencing a 40% decline in numbers from 2006 to 2013.
  • Habitat Loss is inadequately addressed: This draft framework, funded by and prepared for the Ministry of Forests, promotes logging and road building. Obvious mitigation strategies to limit this threat to grizzly bear habitat, like reducing the allowable annual cut, are not mentioned. The importance of this issue is exemplified in a  recent court ruling in Montana where a judge ruled against a logging application because of both the climate consequences and the  threat logging  presented to the grizzly bear population in the area.
  • Climate Change is inadequately addressed: The draft framework  claims  that the threat from wildfires is negligible to low for individual Grizzly Bear Population Units (GBPUs), and that the threat from climate change is negligible to low. Though the framework states that “wildfires … improve grizzly bear habitat” (p. 31), there are no studies included in this section that support the claims made. This past wildfire season has resulted in the decimation of 1.5 million+ hectares of habitat. Climate change can have far-reaching consequences for grizzly bears, many of which are not fully understood. Some bears, including cubs, are also likely to perish in raging wildfires. As well,  climate change can alter primary food sources, including berries, sedges, and various prey species. The impact on salmon runs is already evident due to rising temperatures. With insufficient salmon, grizzlies will not be able to accumulate enough fat to survive months of hibernation and reproduce successfully. The Framework purports that grizzly bears can instead rely on berries, like grizzly bears in Alaska who have “reduced their consumption of salmon in favour of red elderberries” (p. 33). The report fails to consider that berry crops can be destroyed by drought and wildfires and that they do not have the nutritional requirements for self-sustaining populations of grizzlies. The draft framework  also fails to address the cumulative aspects of climate change.
  • Misrepresents the ban on the grizzly bear trophy hunt: The Framework claims that the decision to close the hunt was based on moral opposition from B.C. residents, but this is misleading as it was actually informed by science:
    • In 2017 The federal government was in the process of listing grizzlies on the Species at Risk Act (SARA) registry, which came into effect in 2018. Grizzly bears are now listed as a Species of Concern. They were already provincially recognized to be at risk: In 1999 grizzlies in B.C. were blue listed and in 2012 they were designated Special Concern by Cosewic in 2012. 
    • The 2017 Auditor General’s Report (which was in the works at the time of the ban)  found that the government did not have sufficient reliable population data to appropriately regulate the hunt. Population data is now even more outdated, and a purported return to “science-based management” is not possible without the science. 
    • Hunting has significantly contributed to the disappearance of grizzly populations in Canada already. In 1991 the prairie grizzly population was declared to be extirpated, and the two reasons SARA gave for their demise were habitat loss and hunting.
  • Social License and Ethics are important too: Having social license for policy is an important part of governance.  Social license does not refer to a formal agreement or document but to the real or current credibility, reliability, and acceptance of an organization, project or activity. Operating a government that listens to 74% of its voters which have voiced their opposition to trophy hunting is a democratic one. In 2017 74% of British Colombians (of the 800 people surveyed) indicated they were against grizzly bear hunting 58% of self described hunters were against grizzly bear hunting.
  • While hunter organizations advocate for the return of grizzly hunting under the banner of science-based management, it’s crucial to acknowledge that science, even when based on the most reliable data, can only inform us of ‘what is’ and ‘what could be,’ not ‘what should be.’ Ethical principles, not science alone, should guide our decisions. 
  • Protecting  bears from hunting & habitat loss  is important for the economy: Tourists largely come to British Columbia for its natural beauty and wildlife. Having an opportunity to get a glimpse of a bear in its natural environment is a dream for many visitors. Tourism is a major industry in B.C., contributing $13.5 billion to the economy in 2021  – despite the pandemic.  Anecdotal evidence  from bear viewing guides report the ban on trophy hunting has greatly benefited their businesses: bear sightings have become more predictable and plentiful since the ban.
    • In 2012, bear-viewing companies in the GBF generated more than 12 times more in visitor spending than bear hunting: viewing expenditures were $15.1 million while guided non-resident and resident hunters combined generated $1.2 million. […]Further, bear-viewing companies are estimated to employ directly 510 persons (or 133 FTE jobs) per year while guide outfitters generate only 11 jobs (or 4.8 FTE) per year in the GBF. In addition, bear viewing is attracting many more visitors to the GBF than is bear hunting.  Source.

  • Public Engagement needs more time: British Columbians need more  time to give their input on the Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework. Releasing the reports and survey mid-summer, during a time when many people are seasonally employed or occupied (particularly people with a vested interest in wildlife management, tourism operators, guides, biologists, etc), does not allow for adequate time to review and submit. Extend the survey period until December 31, 2o23.

If you’re sending an email, we kindly ask that you copy If you are writing a handwritten note, please send us a picture of your letter to This will help us track our campaign progress!

Better yet, share a photo of your handwritten letter or a screenshot of your email on social media and tag us @pacificwild!

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