LETTER: Petition to stop shooting bears in Nelson

From reader Jess Grant

Three weeks ago, I was on the phone with my son’s dad when the shots rang aloud through the line. “The conservation officer is here killing the mom and her cubs,” he informed me. The mom and cubs I had been hearing stories about endlessly over the past few weeks through my son, the mom and cubs that taught my son to live in unison with wild creatures rather than fear them and to admire them from a safe distance.

And this was not the first nor the last incident of this nature.

This prompted me to start an online petition with change.org and I am at a loss for words at the overwhelming support. As I write this there are over 23,000 signatures ranging from all over Canada. At 25,000 this becomes one of the top signed petitions. The petition states: “Nelson needs to follow nearby municipalities and adopt bear smart programs immediately. With a civic election soon, it is a perfect time to present these concerns to the city and pressure them for policy changes.”

In attending the latest city council meeting I learned that our city’s waste management intends to undergo another pilot project involving distribution of countertop food cyclers later this year to just over 10 per cent of Nelson’s population. That leaves the other 90 per cent of our population continuing to deal with unsecured garbage and wildlife-human conflict.

We pride ourselves on the picturesque mountains and forests that our little city is situated in, with that we need to understand we share this city with wildlife.

Animals have no voice, and it is our obligation to not only help them but also co-exist with them.

Let us take this petition as a message, loud and clear, that there needs to be change. We need to do better, much better Nelson.

Jess Grant