Crowsnest Pass Conservation BearSmart Committee
The Crowsnest Conservation BearSmart Committee has expanded its efforts significantly over the past few years.
The committee is involved in a number of community-based programs to help people better understand bears, and to remove the things that can attract bears into the community.
These programs include:
- Apple Tree Swap
- Bear Awareness and Education Events
- Bear Briefs
- Bear-resistant Garbage Bin Loaner Program
- Community Apple Roundup and Apple Exchange Network
- Hot-spot Bear Monitoring
- Karelian Bear Dogs
- Meetings with Residents and Business Owners
- Working with the Municipality to Enhance Bylaws
Apple Tree Swap
Fruit-bearing trees are removed and replaced with an alternative tree or shrub that doesn’t attract bears.
Bear Awareness and Education Events
Annual bear awareness and bear spray training events are presented to the public to increase personal safety when recreating in bear habitat.
During the bear season, local newspapers publish this weekly column written by members of the Crowsnest BearSmart Committee, providing residents with updates on bear activity in the area, cartoons, information on bear biology, and other reminders on how to avoid conflict with bears.
Bear-resistant Garbage Bin Loaner Program
Residents that are experiencing bear problems or are in hot-spot areas can contact the committee to borrow a bear-resistant container for free.
Community Apple Roundup and Apple Exchange Network
The BearSmart Committee and Fish and Wildlife employees organize an apple-picking event each fall. Volunteers and local students help remove this major bear attractant, and help out residents that are unable to regularly pick their ripe fruit.
An old-fashioned apple exchange is also coordinated by the BearSmart Committee to connect residents with excess apples to those looking for free apples for canning, sauces, pies, etc.
Hot-spot Bear Monitoring
Volunteers work with Fish and Wildlife officers to monitor the activity of nearby bears.
Bears that linger close to the community are monitored either visually or with radio-telemetry, and then encouraged to leave when they come too close. Encouragement techniques employed by officers include loud horns and sirens, bear bangers, or Karelian bear dogs.
Volunteers work with residents in areas that bears are frequenting, to promote the removal of anything on their properties that might appeal to bears.
To see how community members work with Fish and Wildlife officers in monitoring bears, see:
Meetings with Residents and Business Owners
Committee members meet with community stakeholders and residents to promote BearSmart practices.
Working with the Municipality to Enhance Bylaws
Municipal bylaws can regulate the management of garbage, birdfeeders, fruit, and other items that attract bears and other wildlife.
The Crowsnest Pass Hazard Assessment describes the sources of bear-human conflict in the area. To read the document see:
Updated: Dec 23, 2016