Alberta's grizzly bears need your help
Alberta's grizzly bears need our help! Make your voice heard by telling the government not to drop protection measures for Alberta's threatened grizzlies.
Earlier this month, the Alberta government released their Grizzly Bear Draft Recovery Plan. The plan outlines many positive actions, including an emphasis on maintaining connectivity across our busy highways for grizzlies.
There are, however, key areas that miss the mark. The new plan changes the way linear features like off-road vehicle (ORV) trails, seismic lines and roads are measured. This could lead to higher levels of disturbance within grizzly bear recovery zones.
The proposed plan also raises the allowable levels of human-caused mortality for grizzly bears in Southern Alberta. Too many bears are already being killed in this area by poaching, collisions with vehicles and other conflicts.
And, the Porcupine Hills north of the Castle parks are downgraded from being a 'recovery zone' to a 'support' zone with no limits on road density.
The recovery of Alberta's grizzly bears requires connected landscapes where they can roam and be wild.
Here are some key points I'll be highlighting in my feedback:
• The change from "Open Route" to "Open Road" as a way of measuring linear disturbance will likely mean more OHV trails, seismic lines and other threats to grizzly bears.
• The creation of a "Support Zone" where the province works with landowners and others to manage garbage, livestock feed and other bear attractants is a positive step forward.
• Downgrading the Porcupine Hills to a "Support zone" could lead to increased conflicts with bears and the possible local extinction of grizzlies from this area.
• The addition of "Habitat Linkage Zones" to connect grizzly populations across major highways is also a positive step forward.
• Allowing for more grizzly bears to be killed in the Castle area, Livingstone, Kananaskis and the Bow Valley (Bear Management Zones 5 and 6) as part of "Increased Mortality Rate Objectives" is unacceptable.
Let's show the government that partial protection is not enough for this iconic species. Thank you for taking action and caring about Alberta's grizzlies.