Awarded to the BC Wildlife Federation to improve grizzly bear/human coexistence in low-elevation habitats in the Kootenay Lake area, to reduce grizzly bear/agricultural conflicts by providing education and support, and to share the cost of direct conservation action (electric fencing).
PROPONENT: Grizzly Bear Coexistence Solutions
DESCRIPTION: Grizzly bear/agriculture conflicts create real and tangible threats for both Kootenay Lake residents and recovering grizzly bear populations. With increasing semi-rural and urban residents interested in raising local food, more people are keeping backyard chickens, sheep, pigs, beehives, and growing crops in their backyards. Livestock kills or property/crop damage perpetuates intolerance to grizzly bear presence in human settled valleys and leaves the Conservation Officer Service with limited management options. Grizzly Bear Coexistence Solutions provides a 50% cost share with residents for electric fencing equipment to protect their livestock and/or crops from bears. This helps to share the social cost of living with grizzly bears on the landscape. Properly installed electric fencing is an excellent tool for farms, homesteads, orchards, and backyard food producers to prevent bear conflicts. This project started in the Columbia Basin in 2013 and has been very successful.
OBJECTIVE: 1) To improve grizzly bear/human coexistence in low-elevation habitats; 2) To reduce grizzly bear/agricultural conflicts by providing education and support to Kootenay Lake residents; 3) To share the cost of direct conservation action (electric fencing); 4) To assist Kootenay Lake residents and increase tolerance towards grizzly bears as conflicts are reduced; 5) To assist BC Conservation Officer Service in non-lethal management of grizzly bears; 6) To provide safety information and bear spray training with inert practice spray to various groups and individuals where human activities and grizzly bear habitats overlap.
PHOTOS: Gillian Sanders