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   Volume 81 - Issue 20 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“I will never give up on my dreams.”
- Kayla Valiquette  
   
   

 

 
For the fifth year in a row, the Province has suspended the annual grizzly bear hunt in an attempt to allow grizzly populations to regenerate.
According to Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (SRD) spokesperson Darcy Whiteside, there is no area in the province which could sustain a grizzly hunt.
“Our goal is to actually bring the population back, and we believe that is achievable,” said Whiteside. “We will not initiate a hunt unless we can be certain it is sustainable.”
In June 2010, grizzlies were designated as a threatened species in Alberta, after only approximately 691 were found to be living in wilderness areas outside of national parks in 2009.
Whiteside said it is difficult to determine an exact number, and that it is also difficult to ascertain whether that number is increasing, decreasing or remaining stable.
He said there are many factors which affect grizzly populations, such as hunting, gender and age ratios, human interaction, and shared populations with B.C. and Manitoba.
“These are all aspects which are set out in the Grizzly Bear Recovery Plan, which details the certain criteria that has to be met before we would adopt a hunt again,” said Whiteside.
 
Alberta Wilderness Association Conservation Specialist Nigel Douglas said while he is happy the spring hunt has been cancelled again, he is disappointed the province has only suspended it for a year, instead of the five year moratorium the AWA requested earlier this year.
“It is very disappointing that the Alberta government will not commit to more than this annual stay of execution of grizzly bears,” said Douglas. “Alberta’s grizzlies have been designated as a threatened species, and they deserve much more than this ‘will-they-won’t-they’ debate every spring.”
He said if the continuing decline in grizzly population is to ever be rectified, it will require a long-term multi year commitment, a serious effort to reduce motorized access to grizzly habitat, and greater measures taken to reduce human-bear conflicts.
“The idea that the government would even leave the door open to hunting our most iconic threatened species is ludicrous,” said Douglas.
Whiteside said the rationale behind doing a year-to-year suspension as opposed to a multi-year one is that any set time limit will be relatively arbitrary, because there is no way of knowing how long it will take for the population to recover.
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   Volume 81 - Issue 20 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: news@passherald.ca   $1.00   
 
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