© Maple Leaf Adventures / Greg Shea

Commercial Bear Viewing Association Raises $300,000 For Bear Conservation Through Innovative Conservation Licence Fee

27 March 2024

ATTA member Maple Leaf Adventures is a co-founder and board member of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association (CBVA), which is proud to announce a significant milestone in its ongoing commitment to bear conservation efforts. Through its unique initiative, the Conservation Licence Fee, also known as the Bear Viewing Licence, the association and its members have raised an impressive $300,000 (approx.) to support bear conservation projects.

The Conservation Licence Fee program, which has been running for three years, is a groundbreaking approach to sustainable wildlife tourism. Under this initiative, commercial bear viewing operators voluntarily contribute a portion of their profits to support conservation efforts to protect bear populations and their habitats.

"After a decades-long battle by almost all of the people in BC to end grizzly bear trophy hunting here, the government created a moratorium on hunting grizzly bears in November 2017," said Maureen Gordon of Maple Leaf Adventures. "We as bear viewing operators wanted to replace any funding for bear conservation work that the government had collected from trophy hunting fees, so we self-imposed a voluntary tax on ourselves – the conservation licence fee."

This achievement underscores the dedication of CBVA and its members to environmental stewardship and responsible tourism practices. By harnessing the power of eco-tourism, the association provides unforgettable experiences for visitors and makes a tangible impact on preserving wildlife and ecosystems.

“We are thrilled to announce that our Conservation Licence Fee initiative has raised $300,000 for bear conservation,” said Tom Rivest, President of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association. “This accomplishment reflects the collective commitment of our members to safeguarding bear populations and promoting sustainable tourism practices.”

The funds raised through the Conservation Licence Fee program will support various conservation projects, including habitat restoration, research, education, and community outreach initiatives. By investing in these efforts, CBVA aims to ensure the long-term survival of bear populations and foster greater awareness of the importance of conservation among visitors and local communities.

“We believe responsible tourism can be a powerful force for positive change,” added Katherine MacRae, executive Director of the Commercial Bear Viewing Association. “Through initiatives like the Conservation Licence Fee, we are not only protecting bears and their habitats but also fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world.”

The success of the Conservation Licence Fee program highlights the vital role that private-sector partnerships can play in conservation efforts. By collaborating with commercial bear viewing operators, CBVA has demonstrated the potential for sustainable tourism to drive meaningful contributions to wildlife conservation.

As the CBVA continues to expand its conservation efforts, the association remains committed to promoting responsible tourism practices and protecting bear populations for generations.

For more information about the Commercial Bear Viewing Association and its conservation initiatives, please visit www.bearviewing.ca.

About the Commercial Bear Viewing Association
The Commercial Bear Viewing Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting responsible bear viewing practices and supporting bear conservation efforts. It is comprised of commercial bear viewing operators and is committed to fostering sustainable tourism and protecting bear populations and their habitats.

About Maple Leaf Adventures
Selected for Canada’s “Signature Experiences Collection” by the Canadian Tourism Commission, Maple Leaf Adventures has provided conservation-focused, big adventures aboard small ships since 1986.

With a reputation as one of Canada’s top operators of small ship cruises, our multi-day excursions give guests one-of-a-kind experiences in some of the most beautiful and rare places in the world, often in areas that were once under threat of destruction or in dire need of protection. Our strong expedition ships are also heritage pieces themselves.

In 2012, Maple Leaf was awarded the Parks Canada Sustainable Tourism Award, for promoting the appreciation of Canada’s natural, cultural and aesthetic heritage, while also protecting them.

As a long time practitioner of ecotourism, Maple Leaf Adventures pioneered travel in BC’s Great Bear Rainforest and northwestern Vancouver Island and has made significant contributions to conservation. National Geographic Adventure has rated Maple Leaf Adventures one of the “Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth”.

Maple Leaf Adventures Corp. is registered in beautiful British Columbia, Canada.

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