Bear Conflict Solutions and partners are pleased to announce the completion of the 25-minute documentary Living with Wildlife.
“The idea for this project came after Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) held the Western Black Bear conference in Canmore and toured the visiting biologists from all over North America to see our garbage systems, attractant management program, highway fencing and crossing structures and wildlife corridors. They were just amazed at what we’d been able to accomplish in the Bow Valley,” says Jay Honeyman, Human Wildlife Conflict Biologist for AEP.
“This film was a great collaborative effort to showcase all the innovative programs that exist in the Bow Valley in order for people and wildlife to coexist.” Says local filmmaker Leanne Allison, “I’m super excited to share it with our community before we take the film to a wider audience.”
The film illustrates how there is a culture around living with wildlife in the Bow Valley, described as the busiest place in the world where people and grizzly bears continue to coexist. The film also takes a realistic look at the challenges and the constant pressures wildlife face.
“The film shows how a kind of paradigm shift needs to happen with recreation in the valley. People need to be aware of seasonal wildlife sensitivities and plan their activities accordingly. Last summer was a great example of how bears needed space because the buffalo berry crop was so good,” says John Paczkowski, Ecologist with AEP, “there were many bear closures during that time and for the most part people respected them. People realized it was much easier for them to accommodate bears at that time of year rather than the other way around.”
The Bow Valley is the busiest place in the world where people and grizzly bears still coexist. ‘Living with Wildlife’ is the story of how communities in the Bow Valley of Alberta, Canada have come together over the past 20 years to live with grizzly bears and other wildlife.
Partners on this project include The Calgary Foundation, Town of Canmore, Alberta Environment and Parks, Yellowstone to Yukon, Nature Conservancy of Canada, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and a handful of private donors.
Exciting news! Bear Conflict Solutions has partnered with Bow Valley filmmaker Leanne Allison to create an exciting new film that highlights how the Bow Valley is Living with Wildlife. The film documents the numerous wildlife mitigation projects that have occurred over the years in the Bow Valley including the creation of wildlife corridors, highway fencing and crossing structures, aversive conditioning, renowned educational programs and attractant management programs that include community bear proof garbage containers, and wildlife attractant bylaws and attractant removal.
Check out how the Bow Valley continues to find ways to “live with wildlife” through collaboration and innovation. Here is the Living with Wildlife trailer and look for the main film to be shared publicly in March 2017.
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.
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