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VICTORIA, British Columbia -- A moratorium on grizzly bear hunting will be lifted, probably this fall, a British Columbia provincial cabinet minister says.
Plans to reinstate the hunt were announced July 12 by Joyce Murray, the minister of air, land, and water, delivering on an election promise.
The three-year moratorium was imposed under the New Democratic Party shortly before the Liberals were swept to power in May.
The decision was denounced as "cheap politics" by Chris Genovali of the Raincoast Conservation Society. He said opponents of the grizzly hunt will wage an international campaign to save the bears.
The moratorium was called to allow a panel of independent scientists to review government data and try to resolve questions about the size of the province's grizzly population.
By government estimates there are 10,000 to 13,000 grizzly bears, but some environmental groups say there are fewer than 5,000.