The Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative got another boost this week with the official endorsement of British Columbia's largest and most powerful hunting lobby, the BC Wildlife Federation. The Pemberton Wildlife Association, a local BCWF affiliate was an original coalition member. PWA is very active in wildlife conservation projects in the Pemberton Valley, north of Whistler, BC including providing a reward fund for the apprehension of grizzly bear poachers.
In a letter to PWA the BCWF highlighted: "A return to a healthy population of Grizzly Bears will also be a strong measure to indicate the health of that particular ecosystem. We believe that the reintroduction needs to be supported by habitat and population objectives for grizzly bears and other wildlife in the area".
The BCWF endorsement of grizzly bear recovery comes on the heels of the Okanagan Nation Alliance endorsement who expressed their strong cultural connections to grizzly bears and called on government to initiate steps toward restoring the iconic grizzly bear to their traditional territories.
"It's clear that grizzly bears and their recovery in southwest BC are priorities for many diverse groups in the region. It's also clear that grizzly bears play a central role in the cultures and identities of all British Columbia's communities. Hopefully we can come together around these shared values and set clear objectives for grizzly bear recovery", said Claire Ruddy, Coast to Cascades Outreach & Communications Coordinator.