Hunting grizzly bears has been banned in British Columbia.
The B.C. government says public consultations have made it clear that killing grizzlies is no longer socially acceptable.
The spring hunt in the province was scheduled to open in April, but the ban for both resident and non-resident hunters takes effect immediately.
Environment Minister George Heyman says First Nations will still be allowed to hunt grizzlies for food, social or ceremonial reasons, or for treaty rights.
Heyman says some studies suggest bear sightseeing could have a much greater economic impact than hunting.
Green party spokesman Adam Olsen says he couldn’t be more thrilled with the decision.
The government estimates there are about 15,000 grizzly bears in the province.