Former BC Conservation officer takes aim at grizzly bear hunt

Former BC Conservation officer Bryce Casavant has written a damning critique on a commissioned report from provincial government.

Former North Island BC Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant.

A damning critique of the provincial government’s commissioned report on the trophy bear hunt was received by the Auditor General this week.

Written by Bryce Casavant, a former North Island BC Conservation Officer and current Doctoral student with Royal Roads University, the publicly released critique calls into question significant flaws in a government report that could negatively influence provincial grizzly bear policy.

In 2016 the BC government released a ‘scientific review’ which concluded that the government has displayed a ‘high level of rigor’ in the management of BC grizzly bears.

After four months of research and investigation, Casavant disagrees, stating, “I am very concerned that this scientific report, titled ‘Scientific Review of Grizzly Bear Harvest Management System in BC,’ is actually a literature review which has failed to meet basic academic standards of integrity” says Casavant.

“Significant concerns exist pertaining to grizzly bear population estimates. This ‘scientific review’ was authored by two individuals from Alberta and one individual from the United States. There were no contributions from BC scientists or First Nations and the document was not peer reviewed or sanctioned by a University.”

Casavant, who is now seeking the NDP nomination for Courtenay-Comox, is urging the Auditor General to make recommendations that protect the best interests of British Columbians and focus on the conservation of the BC grizzly bear species.

Casavant added that “The ‘scientific review’ that was written to defend that grizzly bear hunt has failed to stand up under scrutiny. Based on information I have uncovered, I am prepared to state publically that there has not been a high level of rigor in the management of BC grizzly bears. Left unchecked this supposed ‘scientific review’ could mislead public opinion and pose a direct risk to the conservation of the grizzly bear species. I made my submission to the Auditor General out of legitimate and justifiable concern.”