Conservation efforts are causes this forum promotes (a lot more is planned for the future). The conservation efforts by people like Brad Joseph enjoy broader exposure for example his recent article on the financial benefits to conservation (thank you Warsaw for bringing it to my attention). More cameras less guns - keep up the good work Brad.
Thoughts on the Bear Economy
The summer season is nearing once again, and bears have already started emerging from their dens after a long sleep. For some people, bears are a nuisance, many fear them and others view them as an opportunity for a trophy. Yet there are a few folks, myself included, who treasure and appreciate their presence and hope our society finds a way to conserve their dwindling populations. In the last 15 years, I have seen a remarkable thing happen which has been vital to the future of bear conservation- the growth of the bear viewing industry. Prior to the 1990’s, the revenue brought in from hunting was the only real economic value of Alaskan bears. Today, there are hundreds of businesses and individuals who rely on populations of viewable bears for their success, and in today’s world, this aspect of monetary value means everything[....]
Bear Watching More Profitable Than Bear Hunting, Says Study There is more money in looking at bears than there is in shooting them — 12 times more to be exact, according to a new study.
The study conducted by the Centre for Responsible Tourism, a research institute at Stanford University in Washington, D.C., and funded by the conservation organization Tides Canada, concluded that bear-related ecotourism is exponentially more profitable than trophy hunting.
"We found that the bear viewing is generating 12 times more in visitor spending than is bear hunting, and over 11 times more in direct revenue for the B.C. province," said lead researcher Martha Honey.
Ecotourism, including bear viewing, has grown rapidly over the past decade on B.C.'s Central Coast, said Honey. People from around the world come to the Great Bear Rainforest in the hopes of seeing black, grizzly and kermode bears in their natural habitat.
The report concluded trophy hunting, on the other hand, is on the decline, said Honey.
The Centre for Responsible Tourism is calling on the B.C. government to reconsider its hunting policies in light of these findings.
A comparison of the number of jobs generated by each industry also points to the need for a policy change, she said. Researchers found companies involved in bear viewing employed 510 people in 2012, while 11 people worked for guide outfitters in the same year.
Another concern, said Honey, is how much money the province is spending each year on complex hunting regulations.
"It seemed to us quite clear that the government is spending more to sort of manage and oversee hunting than it is earning from revenue from hunting," she said.
But, a Ministry of Forests spokesperson said the ministry is disappointed in the report, claiming the study creates an artificial divide between bear viewing and hunting, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive activities.