FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2013
VANCOUVER - The Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative condemns the killing of Jewel, one of the few remaining females in the Stein-Nahatlatch grizzly bear population south of Lillooet. The isolated group of bears, named after the iconic Stein Valley Heritage Park, now numbers fewer than 24 animals and is in serious danger of disappearing.
Two of the member groups of the Coast to Cascades Initiative have posted rewards of $1,000 each for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons who killed the bear. Jewel is the third female from the beleaguered Stein group of bears to be shot since 2006. Three other females have died of natural causes since that time.
“Losing so many females from a threatened group of bears in such a short time frame is tragic, and unless something is done to prevent further killings, this population is likely to disappear. The ban on hunting grizzlies in southwest BC is meaningless without adequate enforcement” said Peter Wood of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society.
“The killing of Jewel is indeed tragic, but it need not be in vain if her death catalyzes actions to protect and recover these grizzly bears,” said Kyle Empringham, Coast to Cascades Community Engagement Organizer. “We need to reduce threats to grizzly bear habitat and better manage backcountry roads so that the bears can safely access seasonal food sources, find mates, and raise young without the threat of coming into conflict with people. These are all cost-effective, achievable solutions, but we must act soon or grizzly bears will continue to disappear from this region”.
The Coast to Cascades Initiative is calling for increased Conservation Officer Service presence in the backcountry, stiffer penalties for illegal grizzly killing, and the introduction of preventive measures to reduce conflict with forestry, energy, ranching, mining and recreation interests.
For more information:
Peter Wood, Terrestrial Campaigns Director, CPAWS-BC: firstname.lastname@example.org, 604 761 3075
Kyle Empringham, Community Engagement Organizer, Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative: email@example.com, 604 685 7445 x28
To report a poacher:
Contact the Conservation Officer Service (Report All Poachers and Polluters, RAPP): 1-877-952-7277
The Coast to Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative came together to raise awareness of the plight of southwest BC’s at-risk grizzly bears and promote solutions for their recovery to self-sustaining numbers. The coalition includes: Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society BC Chapter, Pemberton Wildlife Association, BC Spaces for Nature, Sierra Club BC, Conservation Northwest, BC Nature, Lillooet Naturalists, AWARE and Squamish Naturalists.