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February 26th, 2014 ~ Vol. 84 No. 8
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BearSmart program vies for Shell grant
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Pass Herald photo
The Government of Alberta, in partnership with the Crowsnest Pass Bearsmart Committee, the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass and local Fish and Wildlife, installed this three-panel Bearsmart sign across from the post office in Blairmore. The sign went up on Friday, July 16, 2010. Pictured here, left to right, are Jenice Smith, Loretta Schaufele, Rob Schaufele, Andy Vanderplas, John Clark, and Koda the Karelian Bear Dog. The Pass is one of two communities, including Canmore, to receive a Bearsmart sign from the province.
EZRA BLACK
Pass Herald Reporter
Crowsnest Conservation’s BearSmart program is in the running for a Shell Fuelling Change grant worth $25,000.

The program is sitting in fourth place, ahead of many other environmental initiatives, and needs to finish in the top 12 to win the grant.

Elizabeth Anderson, BearSmart program coordinator, is urging all Crowsnest Pass residents to get online and vote to support continuing initiatives in the community.

Anderson says the grant would be split between educational initiatives, bear resistant garbage bins and composter subsidies. The bins retail for about $325, but the grant will help them offset the cost by half. The rest of the grant would go to fund movable educational signage and group presentations.

Anderson has a background in biology and conducts plenty of fieldwork in the bush. She says she’s had her share of bear encounters.

“My closest was probably with a grizzly at about 20 feet when I was standing silent in the bush, doing behaviour observations on [a red squirrel],” said Anderson. “That gets the heart pounding pretty quickly.”

The provincially funded, volunteer run program was launched in 2006 in response to a high profile mauling in Canmore B.C. Since then the program has been working with citizens, businesses and visitors to manage wildlife attractants, spread BearSmart education and influence policymakers. Their goal is to keep the number of human-bear conflicts to a minimum, especially in communities like the Pass where bear habitat comes right to the edge of the community.

A recent study from the University of Alberta found that there has been a marked increase in the number of occurrences involving large carnivores in Southern Alberta since 1999.
Anderson says by the end of March people will need to think about securing their attractants and putting away bird feeders. While the bears are hibernating now, in five weeks time they will be awake and hungry.

In the spring, BearSmart will be working on a few projects including the Apple Tree Swap Program. This is a free service where residents who have had issues with bears get their apple trees removed and replaced with non fruit-bearing trees.

Every year, Shell donates $2 million to Canadian environmental projects through the Shell Fuelling Change grant program. In 2012, Royal Dutch Shell’s total revenue was $467.2 billion.

To vote for Crowsnest Conservation’s BearSmart Program:

1. Go to www.fuellingchange.com.

2. Click on the red Login or Register button at the top right.

3. Complete a registration form by clicking on Sign up for your free account today!

4. You will receive 30 free votes to be distributed among projects as you see appropriate.

5. If you wish, additional votes can be obtained through purchases at Shell stations (50 votes per purchase). To redeem these votes, click on the Redeem Codes button and enter the purchase date, station code, and transaction code found on the bottom of the receipt.
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February 26th ~ Vol. 84 No. 8
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