Originally Published in the May/June 1996 issue of The Outfitter Magazine.
The following letter was sent to Bud Dickson, Past President, from Honourable Chris Hodgson, Minister of Natural Resources and Northern Development and Mines.
The Honourable Ernie Eves, Minister of Finance, shared with me on October 31, 1995, your letter to him in which you express concern about the impact of the newly formed Bear Alliance on black bear hunting and the tourism industry.
I hove noted your comments on bear hunting, and on the significance of this recreational activity to the tourism industry and the economy of Northern Ontario. As you indicated in your letter, the spring bear hunt provides economic benefit and employment to the Northern Ontario economy industry and does so at an otherwise slow time of the year when there is less activity.
At this time, there is no evidence that hunting in general, or that the spring hunt specifically, is posing a threat to the bear population. Ministry of Natural Resources’ data indicate that, from a biological perspective, the bear hunt is sustainable and may, in fact, assist in reducing bear conflicts with people. The annual bear harvest is monitored to assess whether there is any change in the current stable population trends.
I am pleased that the tourism industry is working closely with this Ministry to maintain sustainable bear harvest levels and a healthy bear population.
I trust that this information is of assistance to you. Please do not hesitate to write if I can be of any further assistance.