Friday, May 27, 2005

Copy, edit, and email this letter to Premier Klein and Minister Coutts

To: Premier Ralph Klein, Premier,
Government of Alberta

To: Honourable David Coutts,
Minister of Sustainable Resource Development,
Government of Alberta

Dear Premier Klein and Minister Coutts,

It has now been three years since the Endangered Species Conservation Committee (ESCC) and its Scientific Subcommittee recommended Alberta’s grizzlies be listed as a threatened species under the provincial Wildlife Act.

Since that recommendation was first made, evidence has continued to mount in support of listing the grizzly bear as threatened:

• Updated population estimates, based on the best available science, now put the grizzly bear population at only 700 bears versus the estimate of 1,000 used by the ESCC in making their recommendation three years ago.

• The recently released results of the Eastern Slopes Grizzly Bear Project demonstrate that grizzlies throughout Kananaskis Country are very vulnerable to population declines.

• Nineteen well-qualified and well-respected grizzly bear biologists and scientists have recently sent you a letter stating that they support the threatened listing designation.

• Your own Grizzly Bear Recovery Team has recommended you suspend the hunt because the grizzly faces an uncertain future in Alberta.

Your arguments discounting the need to list the grizzly as threatened and to suspend the hunt are extremely weak. They are arguments not founded on science, but rather on anecdotal evidence, hearsay and false assumptions – information that should not guide wildlife management decisions in 2005. The science is clear – grizzlies are in serious danger of extirpation in Alberta.

It is time to end your legacy of poor governance on this issue and put an end to the deliberate mismanagement of this magnificent symbol of Alberta wilderness. I urge you to respect the weight of scientific evidence and the recommendations of your own advisory committees and list the grizzly bear as a threatened species.

I look forward to your response to my concerns.


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