There is no question that two centuries of rapid expansion of human settlement and industrial development on this continent have been tough on grizzly bears. They continue to face declining habitat and the impacts of policy decisions that are polluted by human interest and partisan priorities. The British Columbia government made two announcements in 2017 concerning grizzly bear management in the province. In August 2017, the B.C. government announced that it would… Read More

“Buffler!” exclaimed Boone Caudill, A.B. Guthrie’s iconic character in his 1947 novel, The Big Sky. Guthrie’s story gives us glimpses into both the beauty of the landscape and the mindset that led to some of the biggest mistakes we made on it. Guthrie writes,

When Ian Tyson once sang about a pack of wolves longing for their former home, dreaming of the sound of another pack answering their calls, he imagined the leader of the pack lamenting, “I’m a long, long way from the Yellowhead, here in Yellowstone”. It’s possible that Ian Tyson’s wolf wasn’t actually thinking about the possibility of a connected route from Wyoming back to his former home in the wilderness of the British… Read More

The first national park in Canada was established in 1885. To put that in perspective, the toothbrush was invented the same year. That first park, Banff National Park, in Alberta, has an area of 6,641 square kilometres. Banff was the second national park in North America, after Yellowstone National Park was established in 1872. Canada’s Wood Buffalo National Park is the second largest in the world at 44,807 square kilometres (second to… Read More

In my opinion, one of the most important and commendable steps in North American wildlife conservation came in 1916, many years before Aldo Leopold wrote Game Management (1933) or A Sand County Almanac (1949). It came at a time when North Americans were really beginning to take notice of the disappearance of wildlife on this continent, signaled by dwindling buffalo, beaver, and wild turkey populations, and the complete disappearance of the passenger pigeon in 1914…. Read More

“The North American model of wildlife conservation has seven components that collectively form a foundation that yields its distinct structure: 1. Wildlife as public trust resources 2. Elimination of markets for wildlife 3. Allocation of wildlife by law 4. Wildlife can only be killed for a legitimate purpose 5. Wildlife are considered an international resource 6. Science is the proper tool for discharge of wildlife policy 7. Democracy of hunting It is… Read More

Endangered species conservation, management, and recovery are complicated tasks. While the U.S. and Canadian share many parallels in our history of wildlife conservation, there are some important differences in our respective approaches to endangered species frameworks. Species at risk classification and management systems are also layered across jurisdictions and wildlife species have a great deal of variety in how their populations are classified and managed. It is understanding that these complex systems… Read More

Most people have at least a passing familiarity with the history of bison (Bison bison) in North America. More specifically, people have probably heard about the almost complete eradication of the species from the continent due to¬†massive overharvest fueled by market and colonial interests, and enabled by a complete lack of management. Perhaps fewer people are familiar with the bison as a success story, the one that is ongoing and will hopefully have a… Read More

The beaver (Castor canadensis) is one of North America’s most fascinating, beautiful, and industrious species (and super tasty). Many of my posts relate directly to hunting, but the goal is to discuss a range of issues and topics relevant to conservation. This one is an endorsement for giving the beaver our full respect and appreciation as an integral component of the ecosystems we cherish and as an honourable national animal for Canada. Seriously, I think… Read More

On October 30, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters (OFAH) announced that the province of Ontario would be expanding the spring bear hunt pilot project for another 5 years. Like most issues related to hunting, the factors and considerations involved in decisions about the Ontario spring bear hunt are numerous and complex. The history of debate over the spring bear hunt is in many ways the perfect example of the challenge in balancing science… Read More