First Nations on B.C.’s north and central coasts have declared a ban on trophy hunting for bears in a move that challenges the provincial government’s authority over the issue.

Doug Neasloss, Chief of the Kitasoo First Nation, says the province has been negligent in its responsibility to monitor the hunt, and First Nations now will assume the authority and enforce a closure on such hunting.

He calls the trophy hunt senseless and brutal and says First Nations will protect the bears by any means they can.

Jessie Housty of the Heiltsuk Nation says trophy hunting threatens the First Nations ecotourism industry and a total ban on such hunting is needed to protect both the bears and the industry.