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April 23, 2009

Gabrielle Miller Joins Calls for End to Trophy Hunting in Great Bear Rainforest

Corner Gas Star Joins Growing List of Campaign Endorsers

Humane Society International

VANCOUVER, B.C. — Corner Gas star and British Columbia-native Gabrielle Miller is lending her support to a campaign to protect grizzly and black bears from being shot to death by trophy hunters. As Corner Gas ends this month, Miller is calling for an end to the cruel and senseless sport killing of bears in BC's Great Bear Rainforest.

"I support Coastal First Nations and Humane Society International Canada in their efforts to end the trophy hunting of black and grizzly bears in the Great Bear Rainforest," said Miller. "I truly believe that we should celebrate and protect the majestic wildlife of British Columbia before it is too late."

Each spring, the provincial government allows trophy hunters to slaughter bears in the Great Bear Rainforest, a protected area and one of the planet's last remaining tracts of temperate rainforest. Bear cubs are frequently orphaned and risk starvation when their mothers are gunned down along the shoreline as they forage for food. Coastal First Nations oppose the sport hunt, which takes place in their traditional territories, as do 78 percent of B.C. residents.

"We're very pleased that Gabrielle Miller has joined our team to stop the slaughter of grizzly and black bears," said Coastal First Nations executive director Art Sterritt. "It demonstrates that the bear trophy hunting campaign is not just a First Nations or conservationist issue."

Trophy hunting endangers B.C.'s growing bear-watching economy, which generates far more income for coastal communities than trophy hunt. One bear watching operation alone in Knight Inlet grossed over $3 million in direct revenue in 2007 — more than all trophy hunting revenue combined.

A coalition of groups, including Coastal First Nations, Pacific Wild, HSI Canada and the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, has formed to encourage the B.C. provincial government to protect bears in the Great Bear Rainforest by ending the needless and unsustainable trophy hunt.

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Video footage and photographs of bears and bear hunting are available for download here.

Humane Society International/Canada is a leading force for animal protection, representing tens of thousands of members and constituents across the country. HSI/Canada has active programs in companion animals, wildlife and habitat protection, marine mammal preservation and farm animal welfare. HSI/Canada is proud to be a part of Humane Society International — one of the largest animal protection organizations in the world, with more than ten million members and constituents globally — on the web at hsicanada.ca.

The Coastal First Nations is an alliance of First Nations on British Columbia's North and Central Coast and Haida Gwaii. Our goal is to restore responsible land, water and resource management approaches on the Central and North Coast of British Columbia, and Haida Gwaii that are ecologically, socially and economically sustainable. We have developed partnerships with environmental groups, the federal and provincial governments, municipal leaders, industry and other interests to begin the move to a new conservation-based economy with increased First Nations involvement through strong leadership and vision. Members of the Coastal First Nations include Wuikinuxv Nation, Heiltsuk, Kitasoo/Xaixais, Holmalco, Gitga'at, Haisla, Metlakatla, Old Massett, Skidegate, and Council of the Haida Nation.

Pacific Wild is a BC-based non-profit society dedicated to wilderness and wildlife conservation. We work in partnership with a diverse group of organizations and individuals working to achieve lasting environmental protection. Pacific Wild founders and staff have been working on marine and terrestrial environmental campaigns in British Columbia for two decades. Online at pacificwild.org.

Since 1993 the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, alone or in partnership with other conservation groups, has participated in the protection of more than 1.8 million acres of wildlife habitat in 37 states and seven foreign countries. On all properties owned by the Trust or protected by the Trust's conservation easement, both here and abroad, we prohibit recreational and commercial hunting and trapping and restrict logging and development. The Trust's commitment to these principles will never change as we continue to assist caring landowners to make their property permanent, safe homes for wildlife. Join our online community at wildlifelandtrust.org. 

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