BEAR CONFLICT SOLUTIONS INSTITUTE aims to reduce human-caused bear mortality and incidents of bear-human conflict. Bear-human conflicts tend to increase as human populations extend into bear habitat through residential development, recreational use or industrial development. Such conflicts can result in incidents of property damage and public safety concerns. Bear mortality related to human conflicts is perhaps the largest single factor affecting long-term bear population viability.

The Institute is involved in a variety of bear conflict management initiatives that focus on reducing bear-human interactions. These include specialized training courses and innovative applied research.

Who we are:

Bear Conflict Solutions is a locally based not for profit society made up of staff and board members in Canmore, Alberta and the surrounding region. We registered as a federal charity in 2004. The Institute’s primary focus is to reduce people’s negative interactions with bears while living, working and recreating in bear country.

Our Mission:

To preserve the environment by reducing and minimizing incidents of bear human conflict and the resulting human caused bear mortality.

Our constitution provides that our organization:

  • Increase public awareness and thereby safety for people living, working and recreating in bear habitat.
  • Provide educational information to participating communities and jurisdictions in Canada. Education information will be based on government wildlife management agency approved principles.
  • Enrich wildlife conservation values of public and private lands.
  • Strengthen the partnerships amongst citizens and bear managing agencies.
  • Deliver and supporting science based bear human conflict prevention and reduction programs and research in participating communities and jurisdictions in Canada.

Our History:

Created in 2004 through the generous funding and assistance of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Alberta Conservation Association and other program supporters, the Institute was founded to address issues of human-bear conflict in Canada. It was originally modeled after the Wind River Bear Institute, a US based organization that developed unique bear management techniques and awareness programs to reduce bear human conflict. The organization was founded as the Karelian Bear Shepherding Institute of Canada, named for the Karelian Bear Dogs who work to teach and shepherd bears away from human developed areas. The Institute has evolved to become a specialist in developing and delivering bear awareness and bear safety training courses and conducting innovative applied research.

Board of Directors:

Hugh Notman

President: Hugh Notman – Director since 2011

Hugh Notman is a biological anthropologist at Athabasca University and at the University of Calgary.  His area of study is primate ecology, behaviour and evolution, as well as the conservation implications of these dimensions of various primate species.  Currently, he has a research site in Belize.  He was vice-chair of the Advisory Development Board for Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National Parks from 2003-2006, and is a founding member and current president of the Bow Headwaters Chapter of Trout Unlimited Canada.


Dustin LynxVice President: Dustin Lynx – since 2011

Dustin Lynx lives in Canmore, Alberta where he runs a consultancy, Lynx Computer Services, to provide affordable, on-call information technology support for all sectors of Bow Valley businesses. He holds several certifications from Microsoft and the Computing Technology Industry Association. Dustin wrote the guidebook, Hiking Canada’s Great Divide Trail, in 1999. Published in late 2000, the book has entered a second edition and remains the ‘go to’ resource for hikers contemplating the 1200 km hike, from Waterton Lakes National Park to Kakwa Lake Provincial Park, north of Jasper.


Mark Hornyansky

Treasurer: Mark Hornyansky – since 2011

Mark Hornyansky is a chemical engineer working in the oil and gas sector for Pengrowth. His main interest is facilities design and optimization (i.e. gas plants, oil batteries, etc). Mark has a passion for green energy and is active on projects converting waste heat to power at Pengrowth’s plant sites. Mark sat on the Town of Canmore’s Environmental Advisory Committee for four years. Mark loves to ski, bike and paddle. He also enjoys coaching kids in his spare time.


Julian Norris

Director: Julian Norris since 2004

Julian Norris is Associate Director for Outward Bound Canada. He has a background in anthropology, ecopsychology, community development and outdoor education and his doctoral research examined the practical use of nature-based experiential education to support organizational and social change outcomes. He is an associate of the Four Worlds Development Project and the International Institute for Child Rights and Development and in 1994 he co-founded Ghost River Rediscovery, a cross-cultural youth development program based in Calgary.


Jay Honeyman

Executive Director: Jay Honeyman – Ex-officio since 2004

Jay Honeyman is a bear conflict biologist. He has worked for more than 15 years as a park ranger/ conservation officer in the Kananaskis District and since 2008 Jay has been a bear conflict biologist with Alberta Fish and Wildlife. Jay has assisted government agencies with their bear conflict problems in Canada and the United States working as a bear conflict specialist for the Wind River Bear Institute. He worked for five years capturing and radio collaring grizzly bears throughout Alberta with the Foothills Model Forest whose research includes assessing bear populations and evaluating bear responses to human activities and habitat conditions.