New information reveals ending the trophy hunt for grizzly bears in British Columbia's Great Bear Rainforest will cost millions of dollars, and in the meantime hunters will still be able to set their sights on the bruins.
Premier Christy Clark announced a landmark deal earlier this week to limit logging and end the commercial grizzly hunt on the central coast, which is home to rare, white spirit bears and 1000-year-old cedar forests.
First Nations, environmentalists and hunters said Wednesday there is no target date to end the hunt, and its demise requires negotiations over hunting rights that are destined to cost millions of dollars.
Before the trophy hunt ends, agreements must be reached to purchase lucrative hunting-tenure licences from outfitters who charge non-resident hunters US$25,000 to shoot a grizzly.
"Effectively, she announced nothing," said Pacific Wild co-founder Ian McAllister. "She wished non-profits like ourselves and the Coastal First Nations good luck with purchasing the remaining licences. It's unaffordable. This really should be coming from the province."
The government has since issued statements, clarifying the hunt's end would be "gradual."
"The province has reached an agreement with Coastal First Nations that, contingent on Coastal First Nations' acquisition of guide territories within their traditional territory, the commercial grizzly bear hunt in the Great Bear Rainforest will end," said Steve Thomson, minister of forests, lands and natural resource operations, in a statement.
Non-residents who come to B.C. from outside Canada must hire a guide outfitter to trophy hunt in the province. Resident hunters, whose primary home is in B.C., will still be permitted to hunt grizzlies and other animals in the Great Bear Rainforest.
Guide outfitter Peter Klaui said he is prepared to sell his tenure-hunting licence.