The re-established Bella Coola Human-Bear Safety Committee's vision is to ensure people and bears safely co-exist in the Bella Coola Valley

Bella Coola Human-Bear Safety Committee re-established to ensure people and bears safely co-exist

The re-established Bella Coola Human-Bear Safety Committee held their inaugural meeting on August 13

The re-established Bella Coola Human-Bear Safety Committee held their inaugural meeting on August 13 at the Hagensborg airport boardroom. The vision of this committee is to ensure people and bears safely co-exist in the Bella Coola Valley.

The committee’s mission is to provide strategic leadership as a problem solving, planning and review body to increase human safety through prevention and resolution of human-caused bear conflicts.

The purpose of the Bella Coola Human-Bear Safety Committee is to provide a forum for sharing information and divergent views on the issues related to human-bear conflicts.

The committee will develop, facilitate and promote proactive, community-based solutions that will reduce conflicts and increase safety for both people and bears, develop conflict prevention strategies and maintain best practices for minimizing human-bear conflicts, and develop effective communications and public outreach programs for minimizing human-bear conflict.

The committee will also research and pilot projects related to human-bear conflict, including research subjects, research methods and research funding, develop and maintain efficient systems for monitoring, collecting and managing conflict information and data, and coordinate, review and recommend funding proposals or requests related to human-bear conflict reduction.

The initial focus of the committee will be on bear conflicts within and adjacent to Bella Coola Valley communities as these pose the highest risk to public safety.

Membership includes local representatives from the Nuxalk First Nation, DFO, the RCMP, the BC Conservation Foundation WildSafeBC Program, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations.

Other individuals, agencies and organizations may be invited to meetings that deal with specific issues that fall within their mandates.

A communication strategy will also be developed to ensure the public have an opportunity to provide their perspective to committee members, and actions and results of the committee are reported back out.

Meetings will be held approximately once monthly during bear season (May – October) with additional meeting as required depending on issues brought forward by the Committee. Check back here for information arising from the second meeting (which took place October 5) including current initiatives and further details regarding the communications strategy.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the Bella Coola Human-Bear Safety Committee please contact the Nuxalk Stewardship Office at soa@nuxalknation.ca  or Mike Badry, Ministry of Environment at mike.badry@gov.bc.ca.