JOHN E. MARRIOTT WEB SERIES
EXPOSES WILDLIFE ISSUES
By Lynn Martel
One of Canada’s premier wildlife photographers, John E. Marriott recently launched a brand new documentary-style, no-holds-barred web series tackling the most timely and controversial issues facing Canadian wildlife. Lynn Martel interviews Marriott about the impetus behind the web series and why he’s hoping to inspire people to take action.
“Just 15 metres from the middle of this road,” says Canmore-based wildlife photographer John E. Marriott, as he walks from the centre line of northern BC’s Stewart Cassiar Highway to the rough grass on the shoulder, “right here, I can shoot a grizzly bear. How’s that for fair chase and ethical?”
With that provoking scene, on January 21, 2016, Marriott launched his new web series, EXPOSED with John E. Marriott, a documentary-style, straight-shooting web series tackling wildlife issues in Canada and beyond.
It was the first of 17 episodes that will air in 2016, each running from six to 20 minutes in length, covering topics that are both provocative and inspiring, ranging from his favourite locations to how-to tips for aspiring photographers. The main episodes are being released every three weeks, shorter segments more frequently.
The meat of the series, however, are the episodes that tackle some tough and unsavory subject matter, including BC’s current laws that allow trophy hunting of grizzly bears, and Alberta’s controversial wolf cull program.
One of Canada’s premier wildlife photographers for the past two decades, Marriott’s images have appeared in National Geographic and Canadian Geographic magazines, as well as five best-selling Canadian photography books.
The series, Marriott said, is designed to challenge viewers to examine the ethics around current wildlife conservation and management policies, and to hopefully engage and inspire people to take action.
“There is a lot of injustice out there when it comes to how we protect our wildlife and I wanted to do something about it,” Marriott said. “EXPOSED deals with these injustices in a very raw and honest way. I’m not going to pull any punches.”
An upcoming hard-hitting episode will tackle Alberta’s wolf cull, currently being conducted by poison and shooting from helicopters.
“In the last 10 years in Alberta, we’ve spent $2 million a year killing 1,000 wolves, and it’s not even working,” Marriott said. “I think a lot of people are going to be upset to learn that, in 2016, we’re still poisoning wolves. Wolves just fill in the gaps. They maintain their population based on prey supply.”
The web series grew from a conversation three years ago with Kim Odland, president of Edmonton-based KO Productions, with whom Marriott has partnered to create EXPOSED.
“I’m now at a point in my career where I’m comfortable enough I’m willing to be outspoken,” Marriott said.
Taking issue with the BC government’s carefully selected language, Marriott suggests, “Let’s call it what it is. When we go out and shoot grizzly bears, we’re killing them. We’re slaughtering them, we’re murdering them. We’re not harvesting them.”
A key point, he adds, is that while most who hunt moose or deer in BC do so to put food on the table, people don’t eat grizzly bear meat. They simply take the hide and skull and make a trophy as a rug or wall hanging.
“It’s strictly trophy hunting, and that is what I’m so strongly against with this hunt,” Marriott says.
To learn more visit exposedwithjohnemarriott.com
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WATCH THE FIRST EPISODE
Author of two books of adventure and nine mountain biographies, Lynn Martel explores the Canadian Rockies backcountry by skis, boots, camera and the written word.
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