Forestry roads a risk to grizzly bears in Kettle Granby
VICTORIA – An investigation of a public complaint about management of a threatened grizzly bear population in the Kettle-Granby area has found that the B.C. government has not effectively managed the risk forestry roads pose to the bears and forestry licensees have not met the road density limits recommended by government.
“Government does not have a recovery strategy for this grizzly bear population and never completed its promised recovery plan work,” said board chair Tim Ryan. “Research indicates that limiting road density and road use are effective approaches as grizzly bear numbers are often higher in areas with fewer roads.”
“Government chose to rely on forest professionals and forest licensees to voluntarily reduce the amount of forestry road in the Kettle-Granby area, rather than making it a legal requirement, but that did not happen,” said Ryan. “It’s time for government to revisit its approach to management of this threatened bear population, implement an access management planning process, and consider the use of legal tools.”
The report includes a number of recommendations for government to review and update its approach to managing this grizzly bear population.
Grizzly bears are blue-listed in B.C. and ranked as a “high priority” for conservation. The grizzly bear population in the Kettle-Granby area has been a concern since the 1990s because of its low numbers. It appears this population has stabilized or increased in the last 20 years, but it remains threatened and is only about half of what the area is estimated to support.
The Forest Practices Board is B.C.’s independent watchdog for sound forest and range practices, reporting its findings and recommendations directly to the public and government. The board investigates public complaints about forest and range practices on public lands and appropriateness of government enforcement. It can also make recommendations for improvement to practices and legislation.
Kairry Nguyen, Communications
Forest Practices Board
Phone: 250 213-4707 / 1 800 994-5899
August 24, 2017