Documentary: Living with Wildlife

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.”

Living With Wildlife from Leanne Allison on Vimeo.

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.

Bow Valley Filmmaker Releases “Living With Wildlife” Trailer

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.

Living With Wildlife Trailer from Living With Wildlife on Vimeo.

In The News – Rancher Safety Workshops

Bear Conflict Solutions has been working with landowners and other interested parties including Alberta Bear Smart, SALTS, and the Waterton Biosphere Reserve. BCS has provided expertise and financial support toward over half a dozen workshops to ranchers and acreage owners in southern Alberta over the last few years. One of the key results stemming from these workshops is the recognition that bear spray can be an effective tool during interactions with bears and other wildlife. Click to view this report about Efficacy of Bear Deterrent Spray.

Bear Conflict Solutions
Children as young as eight-years-old learn how to operate a bear spray cannister during a workshop that focuses on safety for ranchers. (Tim Devlin/CBC)

Calgary Herald: Ranchers learn how to deal with bears and wolves in Alberta’s foothills

June 18, 2016

BAR U RANCH — One by one, residents and landowners in Alberta’s foothills grabbed a can of inert bear spray and practised spraying it at a wood cut-out of a bear about five metres away.

The lesson was part of a bear safety workshop held for about 50 area residents on Friday.

“It’s nice to come and get some instruction,” said Wendy Dunn, a Calgarian who lives with her husband, John, in the Porcupine Hills.

They’ve seen a lot of black bears and cougars, and their neighbours have seen grizzlies on their property.

It’s a new reality in ranching country east of the Rockies in the past decade, leading to increasing conflicts between landowners and large carnivores in recent years.

Click to view the full article on the Calgary Herald website.

CBC Calgary: Alberta ranchers brush up on bear safety during workshop

July 21, 2015

Farmers and ranchers in southern Alberta have been seeing more bears in recent years and a workshop has been designed to help them deal with the encounters.

A key part of the workshop is learning how to use pepper spray effectively.

Children as young as eight are included in the training.

Alberta Parks spokesperson Jay Honeyman says they have run the workshop several times and it is paying off.

Click to view the full article on the CBC News Calgary website.

NCC Conservation Speaker Series: Resolving human-bear conflict

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 or phone 403 817-2100


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