Sunday, December 26, 2010

Gratitude #5 - to my friends, colleagues and volunteers in India

My November 1995 Chinatown campaign (see Gratitude 3) had more benefits than one:

1. It forced the enactment of the WAPPRIITA law in April 1996, rendering the selling of anything containing endangered species ingredients illegal within Canada.

2. It secured me a place in the 28,000-paying-members-strong Western Canada Wilderness Committee (WCWC), which had all the campaigning tools I as an individual did not have.

3. It won me a $75,000 project grant from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) in 1997 to go to India to help save the Bengal tiger from extinction. This in turn expanded into a 3-year program grant of $100,000 per annum to return to India three times more in 1998, 1999 and 2000. From 1997 and 2000, the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, a regional environmental organization, waged an outstanding wildlife preservation campaign of global scope.

4. The campaign also became the "Champion of the Bengal Tiger" episode (1999) of the award-winning 5-year TV documentary series "Champions of The Wild" aired on Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Knowledge Network in 20 countries around the world.

When I first got started in Chinatown, I had no idea where I was headed. Fate led me along my path, and tested me at every turn. It was always by free will, but also as if predestined, and in retrospect, seemed meant-to-be.

My three expeditions in India were high points in my life, and remain vivid in my memory a dozen years hence. What I did in India is encapsulated in this page:

and outlined in the following article by me published in the Vancouver Sun:

[Anthony Marr with his trusted and beloved Indian colleague and friend Faiyaz Khudsar]

A Passionate Journey to Save India's Tigers

Vancouver Sun

by Anthony Marr


VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Canada, May 14, 1999 (ENS) - The tigress was sleeping on her side in the undergrowth deep within Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh, the self-appointed "tiger state" of India. She was scarcely visible in the dense foliage with her camouflage of brown and white patches and shadowy black stripes. Within tail-flicking distance behind her was a half-eaten carcass of a wild boar. The tigress was not going anywhere, short of angrily bolting in fear of being stepped on by the elephant on which I was ensconced, which was indeed getting a little too close.

She tolerated our intrusion for awhile, but when the elephant ripped a branch off the tree in whose shade she was resting, she finally had enough, rolled on all fours, gave us a chilling glare and emitted a hissing snarl that could not be ignored. I snapped the last of a string of photos and instructed the mahout (elephant driver) to beat a prudent retreat.


It was January this year, during my third expedition to India's Kanha and Bandhavgarh tiger reserves as Western Canada Wilderness Committee's (WCWC) tiger conservation program director. The program, with WCWC working in partnership with the Indian conservation group Tiger Trust (TT), is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency at $100,000 per year over three years. WCWC also generates further tiger conservation funds from its own 25,000-strong membership, hundreds of donors, educational outreach slideshows and its annual Save-the-Tiger Walk.


Of the original 100,000 to 150,000 tigers worldwide, only 4,000 to 5,000 remain with only three of the original eight subspecies surviving. The Bali tiger was extinct as of the 1940s, the Caspian tiger died out in the 1970s and the Javan tiger in the 1980s. Of the remaining subspecies, the Indian Royal Bengal tiger has the best chance of survival because there are still about 2,500 remaining compared with 1,000 Indo-Chinese tigers, 300 Siberian tigers, 300 Sumatran tigers and 20 South China tigers.


Wild tigers are dying at the rate of about two each day worldwide due to the dual cause of direct killing and habitat loss. By the same token, about one a day dies in India. At these rates, no wild tiger will be left anywhere in the world within a decade, and the Indian tiger's security is but that of the last carriage of a crashing train - unless tiger conservation projects everywhere succeed big time, and very quickly. This is what I'm betting on, starting with our Save-the-Tiger Campaign.


In 1973 when Project Tiger was launched, with founder Kailash Sankhala as the first director, tiger trophy-hunting was banned and about 25 tiger reserves were created. Meanwhile, however, consumer countries like Japan, Korea and China continue to demand for more tiger bone and penis to supply their traditional medicine markets, and India's human and cattle populations continue to sky-rocket - 980 million and 500 million today respectively.


These are the dual causes of tiger decline - habitat loss and direct killing. Direct killing refers to poaching for medicinal bone and penis, but also poisoning by villagers in retaliation for the occasional loss of cattle as tiger prey. Habitat loss encompasses deforestation and overgrazing. Currently, the biological contents of a miniscule three percent of India's land mass are given any degree of protection, but even these "protected" areas are being eroded by government-condoned mining and logging, and by local villagers in desperate need of firewood for cooking and heating. Especially hard to solve is the overpopulation problem of India's cattle, caused by their being milk-producers, beasts of burden, and, most importantly, sacred cows.


For each of these problems there are long-term and short-term solutions. The long-term solution is to re-kindle citizen pride in the tiger as a national symbol throughout India and especially to motivate the villagers who live around tiger reserves to become tiger conservationists themselves.


This is easier said than done. While I was there, India was consumed by cricket fever. If Indian tiger conservation could captured but one percent of this enthusiasm, I could retire.


During my two-week stay in urban India, I gave our tiger conservation slideshow, seen by more than 30,000 students in British Columbia, to 3,000 students of ten Delhi and Jaipur schools. The show did generate the same degree of enthusiasm, resulting in ten "tiger clubs," which I aim to link with environmental clubs in schools in Canada.


What does it take to turn villagers into tiger conservationists? Consider first the villagers. During my eight-week stay in rural India, our WCWC/TT team, made up of TT field worker Faiyaz Khudsar, Vancouver volunteer Anne Wittman and myself, held six hour meetings with the leaders of about 120 villages of the 178 in Kanha's Buffer Zone. The meetings included discussion, a slideshow and a two hour safari in the park - a place most of them have never seen.


Their most common concerns are crop plundering by park ungulates especially the cheetal deer and the wild boar, loss of cattle to tiger, insufficient compensation for both, the lack of irrigation, and, last but not least, the lack of financial benefit from the park.


Underneath these external factors is the general undertone of abject poverty that limits the villagers' mindset to the here and now at the expense of tomorrow into which the path of conservation extends. The key to overcoming these difficulties is actually quite simple: to let long term conservation benefit them today.


One of the key components of this is to introduce alternative technologies, such as biogas plants and solar cookers, to replace wood as fuel. Bearing in mind that village women currently spend their daylight hours gathering fuelwood from far afield, then walking kilometers back to their villages or to townships to sell their 50 pound headloads for 15 rupees (55 cents) each, they would welcome alternatives that could allow them to stay at home and work on financially more rewarding and more eco-friendly cottage industries.


Our team trekked long distances through thick jungle in Kanha's Buffer Zone to access remote villages with our demo solar oven on one of our backs. The demo cooker was designed and made in Canada, but units are modified in India so they can be constructed out of local materials. With nine months of solid sunshine a year, India is well suited to this technology. In a multi-village conference at Bandhavgarh where I was one of the speakers, we signed up 23 villages who wished to try out our solar cooker, and further, five villagers signed up to learn to make the cooker on a commercial basis.


To combat the cattle overpopulation and overgrazing problem, we bought a special hybrid Haryanna bull that local people had been hankering for - one whose offspring yield ten times the amount of milk as the usual breeds. We provided it on a trial basis to a village named Chichrunpur on the periphery of Kanha tiger reserve - one of the 22 villages translocated from the Core Area into the Buffer Zone during the creation of the park. The villagers agreed to stall-feed the new bull and his offspring with fodder that can be grown on part of the land or obtained commercially, while gradually retiring the existing low quality stock and neutering all their existing random-bred bulls. After a generation two, the bull will be rotated to another village and another installed in his place. Stall-feeding is important because it frees the land from free-range overgrazing, protects the higher-quality animals from tiger predation, and makes cattle dung readily available for biogas (methane) generation - another alternative fuel technology.


Regarding the tiger reserves, the general sentiment of the villagers is that they are little more than rich peoples' playgrounds that provide little financial benefit to them save a few jobs in the park service, and worse, produce deer and wild boar that plunder half their crops without adequate compensation from the park authorities. In view of this, we recommended reforming the park system so that the reserves can at least compensate for themselves. Consider this: the world renowned Kruger National Park of South Africa charges $25 US per visit, Uganda charges US$180 for one hour of Mountain gorilla viewing. Neighbouring Nepal's Chitwan National Park grosses US$800,000 a year. Half goes to improve park services, including anti-poaching, and half goes to a benefit fund managed by the villages themselves, which helps to preserve the park as their benefactor.


In contrast, the Indian tiger reserves charge foreign tourists onlyUS$2.50 for a full day park visit. Indian visitors, mostly wealthy people from other states, pay just 25 cents. We advocate using Chitwan as a model by raising the park fee by a factor of ten for both foreign and out-of-state Indian tourists, while offering local villagers free park access on a limited basis. Half the increased revenue could go to park services which could generate more employment, and half could go to the villages to compensate for crop plundering and finance cottage industry enterprises such as manfacturing solar cookers. This gives the villagers a real control over their own destiny.


The park officials, villagers and tourists we have spoken with at both Kanha and Bandhavgarh by and large wholeheartedly embraced the proposal. We further pointed out that tigers are in fact their benefactors, since they keep the wild ungulate populations down by several thousand a year, and tigers are what tourists from around the world pay the park fee to see.


While at Bandhavgarh, we were dismayed to discovered that the tigress Sita, made world famous by the cover article in the December 1997 issue of National Geographic, had disappeared. Her loss is most likely due to poaching. More than five other tigers out of a supposed population of only 45 have also vanished, all within the last six months. The entire park was in a state of subdued uproar, with fingers pointed in various directions.


Only yesterday I heard from Faiyaz Khudsar that 10 tiger skins and four tiger skeletons were recently seized in the Kanha District capital Balaghat. Some officials would deny it, but commercial poaching is alive and well at both tiger reserves. The proposed park reform should strengthen their anti-poaching measures.


During our visit, we maintained the medical clinic and free school we installed at the Tiger Trust Conservation Centre at Kanha in 1997. The school and clinic services three nearby villages. In the whole of Kanha's Buffer Zone there are only four medical clinics including our own, all with similar effective ranges. Of the 178 Buffer Zone villages, no more than a dozen have access to any medical service.


For the rest, we introduce local medicinal plant cultivation and use by means of our demonstration medicinal plant garden. We intend to establish a mobile clinic to benefit more villages in due course.


From their perspective we are a foreign adjunct to the park system, and they likely would give some credit to the tiger reserves for any benefit they receive from us.


Finally, we can all learn something from India's experience. Tiger trophy hunting was not banned until there were fewer than 2,000 tigers left, in spite of which the Indian tiger may still perish. Currently, most independent biologists agree that there may be as few as 4,000 Grizzly bears in British Columbia, regardless of how many more the prohunting BC government claims there are. If we do not ban the Grizzly bear hunt here in our own backyard immediately, our Grizzly bears may go the same way as the highly endangered Indian tiger, or worse, the extinct Bali, Caspian and Javan tigers.


{Anthony Marr is the tiger campaign director for the Western Canada Wilderness Committee. His next expedition to India will depart from Vancouver in October or November. Anyone interested in volunteering can contact the Wilderness Committee at 604-683-8220 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting              604-683-8220      end_of_the_skype_highlighting

@ Environment News Service (ENS) 1999.


The following links and pictures will tell their own stories:

1997-2001 (AM's educational outreach - numerous newspaper articles)


1997-2004 (AM at various international conferences)

1997, Fall (WC Wilderness Committee publication - AM "Tiger tiger burning dim")


1999 (AM in Champions of the Wild - Bengal tiger), Part 1 & part 2

(Part 1.)

(Part 2.)

1999 (India Travelogue, India, honor-mentioning AM as an example)


1999-02 (Article in Travel Talk magazine, India TT bureau, "Save The Tiger Campaign)


1999-02-12 (Article in The Hindu, National, India, "Need to Protect the Tiger Stressed")

1999-02-14 (The Asian Age, India - "Love the Tiger Walk in New Delhi today to save wild cats)


1999-02-15 (The Statesman, India, "A Valentine for the big cats")


1999-02-15 (The Hindu, National, India - "Valentine's Tiger Lovers")


1999-02-16 (Delhi Times and the Times of India - "He is no ordinary tiger")


1999-03-18 (The Hitavada, India - "Save Tigers from Extinction")


1999-05-14 (The Vancouver Sun - "A Passionate Journey to Save India's Tigers" by AM)


1999-06 (Tiger Link, India, global - "Love the Tiger Walk", New Delhi)


2000, Spring (Wilderness Committee report - AM in India project)


Honorable mention are due to Faiyaz Khudsar (then Tiger Trust), Belinda Wright (Wildlife Protection Society of India - WPSI), Ashok Kumar (WPSI), Anne Witman (Canadian volunteer), Kim Poole (Canadian volunteer), Christopher Lindstrom (American volunteer).


Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)

Gratitude #4 - to the 1800 volunteers of the Bear Referendum campaign

This is the 4th dedication of my "Gratitude" series, and the first one posted in the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition site. The entire series is being posted in my personal site ( as it is being written.

WCWC's Bear Referendum campaign in full swing]

Today is Christmas Day, 2010, a day of gratitude. In the 55 days since the successful conclusion of my 40-states-in-7-months Compassion for Animals Road Expedition #7 (CARE-7), I've been informing the members of the Global Anti-Hunting Coalition about the power and potential of the social-political mechanism called the "Referendum Initiative" as a constitution-amending and law-changing tool. I've, compared the Referendum to a sledgehammer, versus a non-binding petition being a handful of sand. I have also written that for the activists of a certain state with referendum legislation to not use the Referendum as a campaigning tool is like going to war, leaving the most potent weapon behind.

First, why do we need constitutional amendments and law changing?

Consider one example each. In terms of constitutional amendments, let me use as an example the state of New Jersey. Only 0.8% of New Jersey's population hunt, but the state constitution of New Jersey dictates that of the 11 voting members of the Fish and Game Commission which determines wildlife management policy, 6 must be hunters and another 3 must be farmers, who are usually also hunters. Last time I checked, all 11 were hunters. In other words, the 99.2% of New Jerseyans who don't hunt, be they hikers, campers, photographers, bird-watchers, naturalists, independent biologists (i.e. not government biologists), ecologists... have no say in the matter whatsoever. Pseudo-democracy and ingrained corruption at their bluntest. As long as this constitutional provision holds sway, it will be wildlife management policy by hunters, for hunters. Injustice and bloodshed will stalk every New Jerseyan autumn, year after year, until this constitution has been amended.

Wisconsin has about the same problem, and Wisconsinians are clamoring for a constitutional change towards proportional representation of hunters and non-hunters in its own Fish and Game Commission.

In terms changes in statute, I could use Pennsylvania as an example, where Jan Haagensen was convicted on nine counts of violations against the Hunter Harassment Statue for asking trespassing hunters to leave her property.

Unfortunately for the activists of NJ, WI and PA, none of these states has Referendum legislation, so their fight would be frustrating to say the least.

Two things to note at this point:

1. Most states have a state constitution with prohunting clauses as the one of New Jersey, and

2. there are 26 states with referendum legislation for constitutional amendment and statute alteration purposes.


And, pardon my repetition, for the activists of a state with referendum legislation to not use it is tantamount to going to war while leaving the most potent weapon behind.

But there is legislation and there is legislation. Where in one state the rules of engagement are fair and square, to give both the proponents and the opponents a level playing field, another state may have rules that are heavily biased for one or the other. So, it pays for the activists to do some preliminary investigation before undertaking a referendum campaign. I've learned the hard way, believe me.

Following is my first hand account of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee's "Bear Referendum" campaign of 1996, which, though it did not succeed due to unworkable regulations, nonetheless merited the description of "the highest-profile animal protection campaign of the year in Canada" by Canada's national newspaper the Globe and Mail, and forced a moratorium of Grizzly bear hunting in British Columbia by the ruling New Democratic Party (NDP), until it was overturned by the succeeding Liberal Party (LP, which strangely was considered right wing in relation to the NDP).

Since the success of the Chinatown campaign in forcing the WAPPRIITA law in 1996 (see Gratitude #3), a new thought emerged in my mind: So, it is now unlawful to hunt bears in Canada for gall bladder and paw, why is it not only legal, but condoned and promoted for trophy hunters to hunt bears for head and hide? Aren't gall bladder, paw, head and hide all bear parts? Do bears suffer less being killed for head and hide than for gall and paw? Isn't this a clear double standard in favor of recreational hunting and trophy hunting over medicinal hunting?

Thus, my anti-hunting passion was born.

In April 1996, around the time of the enactment of the new WAPPRIITA law (see Gratitude #3) the thought came to me that since only about 5% of the population hunt, if we put it to a referendum vote on, say, banning bear hunting in BC, we stood a good chance of winning the ballot, and if we do, then it would likely become law that bear hunting in BC is banned. Paul George either independently thought of it, or liked the idea, as did executive directors Adriane Carr and Joy Foy. It was not a small commitment, in fact one of the greatest commitments made by the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, but we made it, and stuck by it all the way.

Basically, it is a 2-part process:

1. To perform an Initiative Petition on the issue to collect so many thousands of signatures from registered voters throughout BC within a certain Petition Period, and, if the terms of the petition are satisfied, then

2. the question "Should bear-hunting be banned in British Columbia?" would be put to public vote - yay or nay.

If the referendum vote says, "Yay, ban bear hunting in BC," then bear hunting would be banned in BC.

#1 turned out to be much more complicated than it looks. In order to collect so many signatures within such an amount of time, we needed a huge volunteer force of thousands. This necessitated me, the lead campaigner, to travel from city to city, by car, for 60 days (June 1 - July 31, 1996) covering 50 cities, giving presentations to the local animal advocacy groups, signing up volunteers.

This may look like a "paid vacation tour" ;), but reality is far different. After the first couple of presentations, it had become clear that I had but two alternatives: covert and overt. The Covert alternative was to keep the meetings secret, attendees by invitation only; the Overt alternative was to publicly pre-announce the meeting by all means available including newspaper articles and radio announcements. The former was reasonably secure, but it did not bring enough people to the meeting to fill my volunteer quota. The latter brought forth large numbers of hunters, though it did bring enough volunteers.

I adopted the Overt method. The result was that I was confronted by 30-130 hunters at a time over 40 times in the 2 month period. But I also signed up well over 1,000 volunteers on the spot, and a total of 1,800 volunteers in the end. Plus, it generated over 150 newspaper articles and hours of TV and radio interviews and debates, including a 1.5 hour televised debate on a Kamloops radio talkshow program between John Holdstock, president of the BC Wildlife Federation (I called it the BC Wildlife-Killing Federation) and myself, which fielded 30 incoming calls, 25 from hunters. As you can see, they were very well organized - by the BCWF and other hunting and prohunting groups.

Following is a series of excerpts from the media coverage garnered during that time period and the few years that followed as the campaign kept on make waves. Among the excerpts you will find accounts of how some of the volunteers were themselves harassed by hunters, and some of their display booths were canceled by and evicted from those shopping centers intimidated by the hunters. One hunter even grab a bunch of signed petition forms and tore them up in front of the volunteers. I myself was eventually assaulted (1998-01-21) by a hunter, resulting in three facial bone fractures and a buckled eye socket floor. But the campaign kept on rolling, resulting in the Grizzly bear hunting moratorium in 1999.

One of the pieces towards the end is titled "Making BC's Referendum Act Workable". In the nut shell BC's referendum Act stipulates that the Initiative Petition must contain certified signatures from at least 10% of the registered voters in each and everyone of the 75 Electoral Districts. If one of the 75 electoral districts falls short by even 1%, the entire Initiative Petition would be deemed a failure. Plus, we were given only 3 months to collect all these signatures. In contrast, the rules in WA and OR are more workable by far, or workable, period, since BC's is unworkable. They need the signatures of only 5% of the registered voters, and these signatures could be collected anywhere within in the state, in WA all from Seattle if the proponents so please, and a time period of 5 months is allowed. This is why those referendum campaigns in WA and OR succeeded.

Anthony Marr


1996-06-14 (Alberni Valley Times article on AM debating 65 hunters)

Anti Trophy Hunting
Bear hunters confront bare-faced petition to put them into permanent hibernation

June 14, 1996
Alberni Valley Times
by Diane Morrison

Bears, whether Black, Brown, Grizzly or Polar, are not endangered species in North America. Anthony Marr wants to keep it that way.

The campaigner for Western Canada Wilderness Committee was in Port Alberni Thursday night with his effort to ban sport and trophy hunting of Grizzly and Black bears.

It was a very hard sell to the audience of about 70 dominated by hunters and hunting guides that packed into a into small, hot room at the Friendship Centre, made even hotter by the temper flaring up from wall to wall.

The hunters say they are the endangered species. They wanted the distinction between legal hunting and poaching to be clearly recognized. “Go ask the bears, to see if they can,” said Marr. He also said that some hunters and guides make this impossible, because they are themselves poachers.

Marr believes that, with both legal hunting, poaching and conservation officer kills, about 8% of the Grizzly bear population and more than 10% of the Black bear population are being killed each year. He said the province’s Grizzly Bear Conservation Strategy clearly states that the species can sustain no more than a 4% annual mortality before going into decline, and even this, according to Marr, is too high.

Members of the audience disputed Marr’s numbers saying that, on Vancouver Island at least, the Black bear population has been increasing by 15% for the last 10 years. Marr countered that the Black bear populations on southern Vancouver Island, and some in Mid-Island, have been decimated in various locales, citing the Cowichan Lake area as an example, and challenged the hunters to produce written documentation to support their claim, which they did not.

A number of people asked why Marr’s main thrust was to shut down legal hunting when the problem is poaching. Marr replied that both in combination is the problem, and that he has another sub-campaign targeting poachers and traffickers of bear parts. A Chinese Canadian, Marr has taken on both Canadian hunters and the Chinese demand for the body parts of these animals.

After about an hour of cross firing, WCWC campaign assistant Erica Denison finally stood up and said that until poaching can be brought under control, they want to buy time for the bears to recover. One of the hunters pointed at her and said, “Young lady, you are not old enough to teach us anything. Sit down!” Marr pointed at a middle-aged woman in the audience who had been quite outspoken in favour of hunting, saying, “I’ve been listening to this young lady for the last hour. Erica, please continue.”

Marr needs to get hunters on his side, the woman said, not slam them, because hunters also want to stop poaching.

Some audience members said it is organizations such as WCWC, advertising the fact that bear parts are worth so much on the black market, that is increasing poaching. Marr scoffed at this as an “ostrich attitude”.

They objected to being told that they can’t legally hunt bears, but bears that get into garbage and smash bee hives can be killed for being a nuisance. Marr said, “The bears you kill are not nuisance bears, and that killing nuisance bears is not your job.”

When shown a picture of a bear shut in a small cage with a tube leading out from its gall bladder to extract bile, one man said that countries that treat animals like that are not democratic and so they have no conscience. Marr countered that lots of capitalists have no conscience either.

Another man was convinced that if WCWC is successful in shutting down bear hunting, it will try to shut down all hunting. Marr said, “If another hunted species becomes threatened or endangered, I would champion its cause as well.”

Back to poaching, Marr said that when an animal such as the tiger and the rhino is declared endangered, the demand and price, and so the poaching, skyrocket, hastening its slide into oblivion. “It is a very vicious cycle, and the purpose of this campaign is to try to keep our own bears out of it.” . . .

(Anthony Marr debating 100 hunters at a time over 40 times in 60 days in his 1996 50-cities road tour.)

1996-07-05 (Prince George Citizen article on AM debating 130 hunters)

Anti Trophy Hunting
Fur flies at meeting to ban bear hunts

The Prince George Citizen
by Gordon Hoekstra

It was barely civil and sometimes downright ugly. In the end, it took a representative of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee close to two hours to deliver a plea for help to ban bear hunting in BC. Anthony Marr was interrupted, shouted down, and generally abused by hunters in an audience of more than 100 that spilled out of the conference room at the Civic Centre Thursday evening…Marr had barely begun…before he was attacked…

(1996 - One of the Bear Referendum's 1800 volunteers hard at work.)

1996-07-09 (Kamloops Daily News article on AM debating 50 hunters)

Anti Trophy Hunting
Activist calls for bear-hunt ban

The Daily News, Kamloops, BC
by Michelle Young

With calm and respect, Anthony Marr faced rapid-fire questioning from hunters and threw back a plea for them to stop hunting bears…

(1996 - the BEAR-CARE-a-van in action.)

1996-08 (Georgia Straight article "Hunters Target Marr")

(1996 - Anthony Marr with Western Canadian Wilderness Committee's founder Paul George on the day the Initiative Petition signatures were presented to the BC government.)

1996-08-17 (Vancouver Sun, Westcoast People, article on AM and his work)

(Anthony Marr debating hunters 100 at a time over 40 times in 1996)

1996-10-12 (Parksville News article on AM's "speaking tour from Hell")

Anti Trophy Hunting
Bear Crusader takes man on the speaking tour from hell

The News, Parksville, BC
by Bruce Whitehead

No matter how open-minded you are, you likely wouldn’t pick Anthony Marr out to be an environmental activist - let alone one that some have called “the most hated man in BC”. But the Chinese-Canadian physicist has almost single-handedly managed to fire up emotions in every corner of the province…

(Anthony Marr on so-called-anti-Hunting defeatists)

1996-10-18 (Victoria News article "Anthony Marr targeted by angry hunters in the north")

(1996 – Anthony Marr with Paul George on the day when WCWC turned in over 100,000 bona fide Initiative Petition signatures to Election BC.)

1996-Fall (AM in WCWC paper on bears)

1996-Fall (Western Canada Wilderness Committee educational report - AM debates a typical hunter)

(Here is a typical hunter.)

1997-2001 (AM's educational outreach - numerous newspaper articles)

(From 1995-2010, Anthony Marr spoke to over 200,000 students on 3 continents in wildlife matters.)

1997-03 (New Internationalist article "Bad Medicine" on AM's Chinatown work)

Bad Medicine

New Internationalist magazine
by Ross Crockford

Bad Medicine – Ross Crockford tells the story of a man who has stepped on toes from Campbell River to Hong Kong to stop a pernicious trade…

Anthony Marr knows what it feels like to be endangered. Last summer the Vancouver environmentalist was touring small towns in British Columbia... Often the reception he got was downright hostile. Many people in the countryside claimed he was trying to destroy their livelihood and their heritage...

Now, Marr is taking his campaign around the world... He knows there will be some risk; organized crime is directly involved in the endangered species trade... But after tangling with British Columbia's hunters, he should be ready...

(1997 – cover picture of the New Internationalist magazine article.)

1997-04-27 (AM in Bloody Superstition by Shawn Blore)

(Night of The Notables. Little Willow Gilbert chose Anthony Marr to be her notable. She has pinned the “Bloody Superstition” article on bottom right of board.)

1997-05 (AM's article: Making BC's Referendum Act workable – in government Gazette and Common Ground magazine.)

(Anthony Marr testifying in Council.”

1998-01-21 (Vancouver Sun article "Bear hunting foe attacked in city")

Bear hunting foe attacked in city

The Vancouver Sun
by Stephen Hume

BC environmentalist Anthony Marr is recovering after being beaten by a burly man who said, “Let this be a lesson to you.”

An environmentalist known for his opposition to bear hunting and the black market for animal parts was recovering Tuesday after being attacked in Vancouver’s West End.

Anthony Marr said he was waylaid about 7:30 p.m. Monday in the 1600 block of Haro Street as he made his way to his car after a dinner with his parents at their home.

Environmental groups have been complaining about a sharp increase in threats of physical violence directed at their members…

“I was parked in the lane”, Marr said. “There was this guy waiting for me by my car. He advanced a few steps and said, ‘Are you Anthony Marr?’ I said yes and he immediately attacked me.”

Marr… said his assailant was “over six feet and around 200 pounds” and rained blows upon his head and face, fracturing facial bones and damaging his eye socket.

“Then he said, ‘Let this be a lesson to you,’ and walked off,” Marr said.

The University of British Columbia Hospital confirmed that Marr was admitted and treated in the emergency ward shortly after 7:30 p.m.. Vancouver city police confirmed receiving his report of the attack about 8:40 p.m..

Marr recently led a controversial and widely publicized Western Canada Wilderness Committee campaign to have bear hunting banned in BC.

He has also been active in successfully pressuring government for controls in the black market on endangered species parts in the Asian community…

Marr’s silver 1993 Mazda sports car and its license plate became well known during the anti-hunting campaign, he says.

Marr drove 12,000 kilometers and visited almost every significant community in BC during the summer of 1996, holding public and private meetings that laid the groundwork for a province-wide initiative petition towards driving a referendum vote on banning bear hunting.

Campaigners obtained 93,000 signatures in a 90-day blitz that mobilized 1,800 volunteers, but fell well short of the 250,000 or 10 percent of the electorate - needed to force government action under recall and initiative legislation.

The petition campaign, however, gave Marr a high media profile.

He said he was constantly harassed by pro-hunting (forces). Pickup trucks tailgated his car and he received anonymous threats of violence by phone.

“My reaction is that it merely strengthens my resolve to continue with this campaign…”

Paul George, a director of the Western Canada Wilderness Committee, described the attack on Marr as “deplorable” and said it was time for police and government to take seriously the “threats of violence and all the rhetoric that our people are subjected to.”

“I think this [violent rhetoric] unleashes hate against environmentalists just as much as it does against Jews or people of a different sexual persuasion or anything like that,” George said.

[Newspaper Photo - Caption: Beaten but unbowed – Anthony Marr says he is undeterred in his campaign despite beating]

1998-01-21 (Ming Pao (Chinese) article "Ma Seeu-Sung assaulted")

1998-01-29 (Canadian Firearms Digest post - subject "Anthony Marr")

1998-05-13 (Vancouver Courier article "Beating no bar to bear pal - Anthony Marr back on the road)

1998-10-05 (Alberta Report - "Anti-Whaling - the tradition is welfare" - AM honored)

1998-10-09 (Vancouver Sun - "Whale Rights Come First" by Anthony Marr"
(“Animal rights before cultural rights,” says Anthony Marr.)

Anthony Marr, Founder and President
Heal Our Planet Earth (HOPE)
Global Anti-Hunting Coalition (GAHC)