FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 19, 2003
In a November 11, 2003 news release and Environmental Bill of Rights public notice, the M.N.R. stated a key finding of the Nuisance Bear Review Committee was that there was no relationship between the level of nuisance bears and the cancellation of the spring bear hunt.
“The M.N.R. is mistaken,” says O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish and Wildlife Services, Dr. Terry Quinney, “and most regrettably, people are being misled as a result.”
The facts are that M.N.R. staff working for the Committee did not investigate any relationships between the cancellation of the spring hunt and nuisance bear activity. They used an analysis which could not assess any such connections, but the graphs they produced show a clear and undeniable linkage. For example. Figure 15a on page 41 of Appendix 10 of the Report shows that nuisance bear calls averaged less than 1,000 prior to the cancellation of the spring hunt, but after the cancellation of the hunt, they have averaged several thousand.
The O.F.A.H. knew that such an undisputable connection between nuisance bear activity and the cancellation of the hunt would be revealed, because all reputable wildlife experts agree that lower bear densities means fewer nuisance bear problems, and that hunting is a valuable wildlife management tool that lowers bear densities.
“There are thousands more bears in the summer population now, because those bears are not harvested in a spring hunt. It’s that simple,” added Quinney.
Despite M.N.R.’s errors, the Nuisance Bear Review Committee Report provides many good reasons for reinstating the spring bear hunt immediately.
“There were no conservation reasons for cancelling the spring hunt in the first place. The past five years with no hunt has made it clear that the spring hunt benefits people and the economy, and helps maintain the bear population at a healthy and sustainable level,” added Quinney.
You can view the Report and Appendices at www.mnr.gov.on.ca/mnr/ebr/nbrc/index.html
Terry Quinney, PhD
O.F.A.H. Provincial Manager of Fish and Wildlife Services
This press release was issued November 19, 2003.