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Municipality may pursue official Alberta BearSmart designation

Last Updated Sep 6, 2020 at 5:50 pm MDT

PHOTO. Three black bear cubs are seen in this handout photo taken in 2017 after they were found near the Trans-Canada Highway Banff, Alta. RMWB Council will consider participating in the Alberta BearSmart and obtaining an official designation at their Council meeting on Sept. 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Parks Canada *MANDATORY CREDIT*

Mayor and Councillors will meet to discuss an official Bear Safety designation for the Municipality.

On Sept. 8, RMWB Council meets for the first time for the 2020-21 session.

It identified bear safety as a serious problem in the Council meeting on June 9, 2020.

The administration spoke of an increase in black bear sightings in the urban service area and the region.

The RMWB conducted a bear-proof bin pilot in Draper, Saprae Creek, Gregoire Lake Estates and Anzac.

It plans to review and reassess the findings at a later date.

Black bears are the responsibility of the Alberta Ministry of Environment and Parks’ Fish and Wildlife division.

“Research conducted by the Government of Alberta indicates black bears have extended their range into former habitats and can now be found in almost 75 per cent of Alberta. This has resulted in increased and undesirable interactions with humans.”

The administration also said the Alberta BearSmart Program Manual provides valuable information.

Formed in 2011, the manual looks at communities, outdoor recreation, agriculture, and industry in helping keep bears and Albertans safe.


It provides information and recommendations for deterrents, waste bins, and collection services and landfills.

The BearSmart program and administration issued the following recommendations to residents:

  • Adhering to the proper times for placing garbage to the curb (0730 hrs)
  • Proper storage of bins for waste or recyclables which may include storage in the garage or shed.
  • Sealing thrown-out food in plastic bags or disposable air-tight containers.
  • Dedicating a portion of the freezer to store spoiled foods, removing them once weekly in line with curbside collection.
  • Adding lime to the garbage to eliminate odours that can attract bears.
  • Separating food waste from non-food garbage and keeping discarded food materials in a garage or shed until the garbage pick-up day.
  • Leaving a bright light on the bins.
  • Washing containers to be thrown away or recycled before placing them in garbage cans to reduce odours that can attract the bears.
  • Regular cleaning of garbage cans using disinfectants, bleach or white vinegar. Spray the inside with ammonia between cleanings to help discourage bears.
  • Regularly cleaning barbeques.
  • Storing pet food and feeding pets inside.


More information about BearSmart communities in the province is available on the Alberta website.

The Municipality said reducing bear sightings takes a collaborative effort.

“While the work of one resident, homeowner or business owner can make a positive impact, the negligence of one can have a devastating effect for all. Information provided in the Alberta BearSmart Program should be amplified to ensure the people in our region remain safe, human-caused bear mortalities are reduced, and property damage is prevented.”

The administration said it has yet to fully explore the budget implications of an official designation but will consider it.

RMWB Council meets at 4 p.m. via electronic means keeping with public health restrictions from Alberta Health Services.

Mayor and Councillors will also debate the impending consolidation of emergency dispatch services.