Grande Cache, Alberta, Receives BearSmart Cash

People living in the Grande Cache area will benefit from a $40,000 contribution by Encana Corporation that will enhance education programs and reduce bear attractants in an area with one of the highest grizzly bear densities in the province.

The newly established Grande Cache BearSmart Committee will lead these enhanced programs.

“Our staff work with communities to limit the risks for both public and bears,” said Mel Knight, Minister of Sustainable Resource Development. “However, without community and stakeholder support, the BearSmart programs would not be effective.”

Staff from Sustainable Resource Development recently completed an assessment of the causes of human-bear conflicts in the area. Sustainable Resource Development, Encana and the Grande Cache BearSmart Committee will work together to use this information to prioritize strategies to reduce conflicts. Some projects may include:

  • Purchasing bear-resistant garbage bins,
  • Installing BearSmart educational signage, and
  • Supporting talks to local schools.

“Encana values environmental stewardship as a crucial component of community investment. The BearSmart program really embodies stewardship through education and prevention,” said Carley Knutson, Community Relations Advisor with Encana.

Grande Cache will be joining other Alberta communities with existing BearSmart programs, such as Canmore, Crowsnest Pass, Fort McMurray and others. Individual programs are tailored to the communities, but the program relies on community and stakeholder support and volunteers.

The BearSmart program is a provincial initiative to help keep people and bears safe and reduce property damage by bears. As part of Alberta’s commitment to manage the threatened grizzly bear population, BearSmart is vital to helping reduce human-caused grizzly bear mortalities. For more information on the BearSmart program, visit www.bearsmart.alberta.ca. (Alberta Ministry of Sustainable Development)

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