Grizzly ecotourism in British Columbia generates more revenue and creates more jobs than grizzly hunting, according to a new report published Tuesday.
The study (PDF), published by the Washington D.C.-based advocacy group Center for Responsible Travel (CREST), found that visitors coming to western Canada from the U.S. and Europe for the purposes of seeing grizzlies spent 12 times more than bear hunters did over the course of 2012. Bear viewing companies also created 510 jobs for guides and naturalists, compared to just 11 for hunting guide services.
Grizzly hunting is a controversial subject in British Columbia. The Coastal First Nations group, representing some 20,000 indigenous residents, opposes trophy hunting on principle and has enacted a symbolic ban on all grizzly harvesting. The province, however, contends that it has the sole authority to allow hunting and maintains that a limited number of bears can be harvested safely each season without threatening the overall health of the population.