Ministry of Environment: Bear Smart Program

Ministry of Environment – Bear Smart Program
The province of British Columbia is proud to support a diverse range of wildlife and many communities put forth a tremendous effort to maintain and enjoy these populations. The Bear Smart Community program, in particular, aims to reduce human-bear conflicts thus reducing the risk to human safety, damage to private property and avoiding unnecessary destruction of bears.
The Ministry of Environment Bear Smart Community Program is a proactive conservation strategy aimed at addressing the root causes of human-bear conflicts to reduce the risk to human safety and private property as well as the number of bears destroyed annually (Davis et al, 2002). The Bear Smart Community Program initiative depends on the partnerships of key stakeholders such as provincial, regional and municipal governments, wildlife management agencies, non-government organizations, businesses, community groups and individuals.
The program itself is built on a set of criteria that, when implemented, will enable a community to work towards attaining Bear Smart Community status. The recommended criteria are as follows:
1.Prepare a Bear Hazard Assessment/problem analysis of the community and surrounding area.
2.Prepare a Human-Bear Conflict Management plan designed to address the conflict issues identified in the Bear Hazard Assessment.
3. Revise planning and decision making documents to be consistent with the Human-Bear Conflict Management Plan.
4.Implement a continuing education program, directed at all sectors of the community.
5.Develop and maintain a bear-proof municipal solid waste management system.
6.Implement “Bear Smart” bylaws prohibiting the provision of food to bears as a result of intent, neglect or irresponsible management of attractants.
Bear Smart efforts are made successful by individual actions. One person really can make a difference; your responsible actions can increase public safety in your neighbourhood, save the life of a bear and set a positive example for not only your community – but communities throughout British Columbia.
Information provided by Christina Brack Alberni Valley Bear Smart Committee Volunteer and Crystal McMillan, Executive Director for Bear Smart BC Society
For more information on how to bear-proof your campsite & home property or to volunteer with the Alberni Valley Bear Smart Committee call:
Dawn Boyce 250-723-2187 or
Darlene Clark 250-724-4657
For more information on the Ministry of Environment Bear Smart Community Program or the Bear Smart BC Society please call:
Crystal McMillan at 250-266-(BEAR) 2327.