Being BearSmart

…. means everyone, including the bears, wins.


Being BearSmart

At the All-Candidates Election Forum the other night, I was asked a question on the Bear Smart Program that I found difficult to answer, as I knew little to nothing on this subject.

Well now I do! Thanks to Cathy Pisony at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre for fitting me in, literally at the eleventh hour, so that I could attend last night’s well attended and fully booked Bear Awareness and Educational Event that was sponsored in partnership by District Superintendent John Slupsky with Devon Canada Corporation and Kim Kiel, program manager, for the Alberta EcoTrust Foundation.

All who attended, I’m sure, found it as I did to be both an entertaining and informative evening that left us better educated on what we all can do to not only protect ourselves, but the bears and other wildlife as well.

Fish and Wildlife Officer John Clarke with his Karelian Bear Dogs did an ‘excellent’ job telling us about his and his department’s work, and even gave us the opportunity to meet and pet his dogs followed by a live demonstration by one of his canine partners in action, while Amit Saxena, environmental advisor with Devon Canada gave us all hands-on bear spray training that I found to be the highlight of the evening, for me personally.

All-in-all a very ‘enjoyable’ evening was spent thanks to the efforts of President Judy Cooke and Jenice Smith with our very own Crowsnest Conservation Society who were instrumental in hosting this event and from what I understand do so on a regular basis.

I highly recommend taking part in one of these events when given the chance to do so the next time around, as I’m sure you will find it as rewarding as I did.

In future, if ever asked again about Bears I’m sure I will knock peoples’ socks off with what I now do know, and what I now do know is what a fine program this is, what a ‘great’ group of people are passionately involved in it, and how important it is that the people in this community and this municipality get behind it, and do what we can in doing our part in supporting it.

On October 18, vote JOHN PRINCE For MAYOR

Those who have packed far up into grizzly country know that the presence of even one grizzly on the land elevates the mountains, deepens the canyons, chills the winds, brightens the stars, darkens the forest, and quickens the pulse of all who enter it. They know that when a bear dies, something sacred in every living thing interconnected with that realm… also dies.


If we can learn to live with bears, especially the grizzly, and if we can learn to accommodate the needs of bears in their natural environment, then maybe we can also find ways to use the finite resources of our continent and still maintain some of the diversity and natural beauty that were here when Columbus arrived.

from John Prince
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1 Response to Being BearSmart

  1. Well said, John. Thank you. I find myself very interested in finding out more. I hope to attend one of this information sessions in the future.

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