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Report recommends improvements for Bow Valley human-wildlife coexistence

The Bow Valley Human-Wildlife Coexistence technical working group released a comprehensive report of recommendations to address human-wildlife conflict on May 31.

MEDIA RELEASE | June 1, 2018 

Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative (Y2Y) and the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society (CPAWS) Southern Alberta appreciate the work of the Bow Valley Human-Wildlife Coexistence technical working group in their comprehensive report released on May 31.  

The Bow Valley Human-Wildlife Coexistence round table was created in late 2017 in response to concerns about the number of encounters between humans and wildlife, and how those encounters were being managed by local, regional and national offices.  

It was the management of a particular female grizzly bear known as No. 148 and her movements over the summer of 2017 that highlighted the challenges that wildlife face in a populated valley managed by different agencies.   

The round table asked a working group of wildlife experts from the Towns of Canmore and Banff, the Government of Alberta, Parks Canada, and non-governmental organizations Y2Y, CPAWS and WildSmart, to recommend best practices for reducing human-wildlife conflict.  

“Our recommendations came mainly from researching past and present patterns of human-wildlife conflict in the Bow Valley, but we also drew from scientific papers and reports. There was consensus on the final recommendations by all group members,” says Dr. Hilary Young, Y2Y Alberta program manager and working group member.   

“Coexistence will require ongoing effort, but this report lays the groundwork for better engagement and communication with the public, as well as more proactive and collaborative management,” she says.  

The technical working group’s 28 recommendations for improvement fall into six categories: transboundary management; wildlife in developed areas; habitat security; food conditioning and habituation; people compliance; and wildlife management.  

“The community will need to work through some of the more challenging issues facing them when they recreate and visit in the area,” says Katie Morrison, conservation director with CPAWS Southern Alberta. “Our ability to ensure the Bow Valley remains a vital link for wildlife between Banff National Park and Kananaskis Country will depend on us all working towards the broader good of wildlife and our communities.”   

The report can be read here.  

For further comment, please contact:  

Hilary Young, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative Alberta program manager, hilary@y2y.net, 403-609-2666 ext. 104  

Katie Morrison, Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society Southern Alberta branch conservation director, 403-232-6686| kmorrison@cpaws.org 

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