NCC Conservation Speaker Series invites you and your guests to:
Resolving human-bear conflict with Jay Honeyman
Thursday February 16, 2012
Calgary Golf and Country Club
Reception at 6:30, Presentation to follow
RSVP to Linda Stenvall by February 10, 2012 email@example.com or phone 403 817-2100
CLICK TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD PDF INVITATION AND MAP
Jay Honeyman has been working with grizzly bears for over 25 years and received his MSc in Environmental Management from Royal Roads University in 2007. He has worked with the Wind River Bear Institute assisting agencies in various provincial, state and federal government agencies in resolving their human bear conflict issues. He is the Executive Director of Bear Conflict Solutions Institute. He currently works as a Bear Conflict Biologist for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development in Canmore, Alberta.
NCC’s Conservation Speaker Series is made possible through the support of Bill & Kathy Friley & Family for your enjoyment at no cost to you and your guests. Please enjoy this opportunity for mingling, light refreshments and a special presentation.
Please note that business attire is required at the Calgary Golf & Country Club – no blue jeans. The Calgary Golf & Country Club is located at Elbow Drive & 50th Ave SW Calgary.
Nature Conservancy of Canada – Alberta Region www.natureconservancy.ca
Can you find them? These bears have an interesting story to tell. The mom emerged from her den with two cubs this spring. We managed to get them in this gigapan photo in September 2011; the cubs are 9 months old and big – close to 100 pounds. The fourth bear in this photo is believed to be from last year’s offspring – a two year old who had gotten separated from her mom. She showed up in August of this year and has been travelling with the rest of the family group this fall. While taking this shot, we had the opportunity to watch all four of these bears rough house and play together endlessly in the snow – they were having fun.
SECURING SUCH UNNATURAL ATTRACTANTS as garbage and birdfeeders does not necessarily mean your bear problems are over. Bears are on a continual search for food and if natural foods are available within communities or other developed sites, bears will come. These bears, as with garbage and birdfeeders can become habituated and/or food conditioned, resulting in bears being relocated or euthanized out of concern for public safety. Removing the natural food source within developed areas will encourage bears to move to other more natural areas to feed. This can reduce the level of human bear interactions, reducing public safety concerns and associated human caused bear mortality. By removing natural attractants within developed areas, grizzly bears will be encouraged to move to other areas such as existing wildlife corridors and habitat patches. This will reduce human bear interactions and associated human caused bear mortality. This will contribute to the goal of maintaining habitat connectivity and reducing human caused wildlife mortality in the Bow Valley.
The Bow Valley and Rocky Mountain parks west of Calgary, Alberta have been experimenting with this concept for a number of years now. Bear Conflict Solutions, in cooperation with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD), Alberta Tourism Parks and Recreation (ATPR), the Town of Canmore and Municipal District of Bighorn and with funds from the Kananaskis Legacy Fund through Alberta Ecotrust, continue to remove buffalo berry and other berry producing shrubs from developed sites in the Region. This program is testing a bioherbicide on berry producing vegetation. The bio-herbicide is intended to impede regrowth of the freshly cut vegetation, thereby negating the need to return to the area in the future to recut regrowth. This will result in a more cost effective method of attractant removal than is currently in place. Currently, areas will grow back every 5 to 7 years, requiring recutting and additional funding resources.
The objectives of this program are:
- To reduce grizzly and black bear activity within developed sites including townsites, campgrounds and picnic areas. This will reduce human-bear interactions, improve public safety and the resulting human caused bear mortality
- To impede regrowth of natural bear attractants within developed sites through the cutting and subsequent application of a bio herbicide
- To educate the public on the benefits of removing natural attractants from both public and private lands i.e. their homes
IN PARTNERSHIP WITH the Alberta Conservation Association and UnBearAble Bins Inc., Bear Conflict Solutions instituted a “Bear Resistant Container Loaner Program” for the community of Bragg Creek and area in 2006 in an effort to reduce incidents of bear human conflict related to unnatural foods. Bear resistant garbage bins were made available to residents of the Bragg Creek area to prevent bears from accessing resident’s garbage, dog food, bird seed and other unnatural bear foods. This program was extended to the MD of Foothills in 2008 through the financial support of Alberta Sustainable Resource Development and the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative. This program is now operating in multiple communities in Alberta.
The objectives of the program are:
- To purchase and disseminate bear-resistant containers to residents experiencing bear problems resulting from onsite artificial attractants;
- To monitor the outcome of container use in terms of eliminating bear attractants and reducing problem bear activity;
- To educate residents regarding the effective management of bear attractants; and
- To encourage residents to take proactive measures to eliminate bear attractants and reduce the potential for bear-human conflicts in the long-term.
The Bear Bin Loaner program represents an innovative approach that proactively engages community members in bear management, encouraging residents of rural communities to be good stewards of wildlife. Working with and empowering residents of rural communities to take the initiative in managing attractants is a fundamental element of the bear-resistant container program. Results of this program are available in this report. CLICK TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD (166 KB)
THE INSTITUTE is a specialist in developing and producing Bear Hazard Assessments for communities in bear country. These assessments identify areas of high use bear habitat and areas of past and present human-bear conflict. They also identify future potential problem areas based on forecasted human use and development and provide recommendations on how to reduce conflict in the future.
In 2008, a Bear Hazard Assessment was compiled in conjunction with Alberta Sustainable Resource Development for Canmore, Alberta and the surrounding Bow Valley lands east of Banff National Park. It is one component of multiple “Bear Smart” initiatives within Canmore and the Bow Valley that began in 2005. CLICK TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD (1.1 MB)
The question of whether or not wildlife and development can coexist in the Bow Valley is discussed in an article by Karsten Heuer (2009) entitled “The Big Squeeze”. CLICK TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD (507KB)
The Institute recently completed a Bear Hazard Assessment for Bragg Creek, Alberta for Alberta Sustainable Resource Development as part of the provinces’ ongoing Alberta BearSmart Program initiative. CLICK TO VIEW OR DOWNLOAD (1.6 MB)
Photo: D. Chadwick monitoring 2 young grizzly bears in NW Montana. Photo by Derek Reich