Introducing Wildlife Protection Act (2024): Protecting Bear Dens in British Columbia

Mar 6, 2024 | 42-5, Bills, Blog, Governance, Legislature, Video | 5 comments

For the third time I introduced a Wildlife Amendment Act to afford protections for bear dens in British Columbia.

Premier David Eby has mandated his Minister of Water, Land, and Natural Resources, Hon. Nathan Cullen, to protect biodiversity, this includes ensuring bears have a sage place to den, birth, and raise their cubs.

There are no protections for bear dens and I call on Minister Cullen to bring my bill forward for debate and fulfill his mandate on behalf of bears and nature.


I move that a bill intituled the Wildlife Amendment Act, of which notice has been given in my name on the order paper, be introduced and read a first time now.

For decades, experts have been advocating for laws to protect bear dens in British Columbia. We still lack comprehensive legal protection for bear dens.

Bear dens have been left to a patchwork of policies by logging companies which are inconsistent and unenforceable. Last month, the Union of B.C. Indian Chiefs unanimously passed a resolution calling on the province to protect bear dens by the end of this spring session. The resolution from Walas Numgwis, Chief Dave Mungo Knox, recognizes the duty we have as humans to protect our relatives and our shared homelands.

As we committed to in the Declaration Act, Indigenous people have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationships and the right to conservation and protection of the environment and the productive capacity of their lands and territories.

In 2023, it was the deadliest year to be a bear; mostly the result of the degradation of the environment and the lack of natural food sources: 603 black bears were killed by the B.C. Conservation Service last year. The primary reason, according to chief Cam Schley, is human garbage.

The pressures on bears is great, and we can offer them some relief in protecting their denning habitat.

The act before us today makes essential changes to protect bear dens. It sets out that if a person disturbs, molests, damages or destroys a bear den, they have committed an offence. Further, this protection stands on both Crown land and private land, which is an essential component given the proliferation of private managed forest lands in British Columbia.

This is the third time I’ve introduced this legislation, and since then, untold numbers of bear dens have been destroyed. It’s the mandate of the Minister for Wildlife to protect the biodiversity of this province, and this includes protecting the dens where bears hibernate, birth and raise their young.


  1. Theresa Barker

    Great finally a step forward for the poor bears.

  2. Jim Cuthbert

    Fully support this important initiative.
    The fact that it has not been acted on by government, speaks to their lack of support towards environmental stewardship in BC.

  3. Jim Cuthbert

    The fact that it has not been acted on by government, speaks to their lack of support towards environmental stewardship in BC.

  4. Michael White

    Thank you. I fully support this initiative. Protection and respect for bears and all wildlife is so important.

  5. Greg Ferguson

    Thank you Adam for continuing to pressure the government on the importance of protecting bear dens on all lands in BC. I know from working in AB that there is protection for bear dens via their Wildlife Act (

    It would also be very beneficial to have bat roosts in natural (e.g., cavities in old cedars often near water bodies – see here and non-natural (e.g., buildings) structures protected, especially maternity and overwintering roosts.

    As you may know a number of bats in BC and nationally have and continue to decline (likely substantially more once white-nose syndrome fully spreads). See the following for some of the species most at risk:;; and

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