CBT supports Bear Aware

On Monday, May 10, Bear Aware Community Coordinators met to receive training for the Bear Aware outreach programs being delivered to Basin communities this summer. CBT is providing $55,000 towards the Bear Aware programs in the Basin. Front Row (left to right): Colin Smith, Golden; Sharon Wieder, Rossland; Kathy Murray, Fernie; Penny Page-Brittin, Revelstoke; Shaunna McInnis, Kimberley. Back row (left to right): Katia Plotnikoff, rural areas between Nelson, Creston and Cranbrook; Gillian Sanders, Kaslo; Betty Offin, Castlegar; Courtnay Sopko, Elk Valley (Elkford and Sparwood0; and Erica Mallam, Lower Arrow Lakes and Upper Slocan Valley. Photo courtesy of the Columbia Basin Trust

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.

That fact of life has prompted the Columbia Basin trust to establish a partnership with the BC Conservation Foundation and inject $55,000 into its Bear Aware program.

“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.”

Besides Revelstoke, Bar Aware programs will be offered in nine communities this year including Castlegar, Elk Valley (Elkford and Sparwood), Fernie, Kaslo, Kimberley, 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 delivers economic, social, and environmental benefits to the residents of the Columbia Basin. To learn more about its programs and initiatives, visit www.cbt.org or call 1-800-505-8998.

To learn more about Revelstoke’s Bear Aware program please go to http://www.revelstokebearaware.org or click the Bear Aware button on the bottom of The Current’s front page.