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CBT supports Bear Aware

Kyra Hoggan
By Kyra Hoggan
May 17th, 2010

Spring is blooming in the Basin, and with the extra sunshine and greener lawns, residents are also beginning to see some other familiar sites outside – bears.

While most residents enjoy the Basin’s beautiful wildlife, they don’t want bears in their backyards. That is one of the reasons the Bear Aware program was established in 1998, and why this educational, innovative and community-based resource is a valuable asset to Basin communities.

CBT’s new partnership with the BC Conservation Foundation (BCCF) designates $55,000 for one year to assist bear-proofing efforts at the community level and to increase the ability of communities to provide educational tools and information to residents that will decrease bear/human conflict.

“The Bear Aware program is a natural fit for CBT because we share similar goals with BCCF in regards to fostering a healthy ecosystem,” said Rick Allen, Program Manager. “We want to ensure that bears are not attracted to our communities and keep them in their own habitat. The community coordinators are key to educating the public about reducing attractants for bears in our communities. Our partnership with BCCF enables the coordinators to use BCCF’s experience and expertise through a pre-established, preventative, conservation program called Bear Aware.”

Bear Aware programs will be offered in 10 communities this year including Castlegar, Elk Valley (Elkford and Sparwood), Fernie, Kaslo, Kimberley, Revelstoke, Rossland, Arrow Lakes (Slocan), Golden, and the rural areas between Nelson, Creston and Cranbrook.

“A partnership with CBT ensures that we are able to support local conservation organizations in their efforts to enhance and conserve fish and wildlife populations,” said Barb Waters, Northern Regional Manager of BCCF. “CBT’s contribution has allowed the BCCF Bear Aware program to hire Bear Aware Community Coordinators who will receive extensive training to deliver and assist communities in reducing bear/human conflict.”

Residents can expect to see local Bear Aware Community Coordinators bringing education materials and presentations to public spaces, community events, schools and more, to help the general public better understand how to reduce bear/human conflict.

CBT delivers economic, social, and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about CBT programs and initiatives, visit www.cbt.org or call 1-800-505-8998.

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Categories: General

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