Biologists to speak on Sea to Sky grizzly bears 

Pemberton Meadows Golf Course hosts two of region’s foremost grizzly experts

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It’s no secret that the Sea to Sky corridor is black bear country, but some would probably be surprised to hear that there are valleys around Whistler and Pemberton that serve as crucial habitat for grizzlies as well.

On Tuesday, June 2, the public will get the chance to learn about these iconic bears in our own backyard at a talk hosted by the Coast to Coast Cascades Grizzly Bear Initiative and the Pemberton Wildlife Association. The event takes place at 7 p.m. at the Meadows Golf Course in Pemberton.

“Understanding the scientific data from tracking collars, DNA and other methods has allowed us to determine how grizzly bears are using the surrounding valleys to access seasonal foods, find mates and to stay safe when raising their cubs,” said Coast to Cascades field director Johnny Mikes in a release.

The Grizzlies of the Sea-to-Sky event brings in two of the region’s foremost grizzly experts: Steve Rochetta, ecosystem biologist with the Forest, Lands and Natural Resource Office in Squamish; and Tony Hamilton, large carnivore specialist with the B.C. Ministry of Environment.

In decades of grizzly research, Rochetta has “done it all,” the release stated, including gathering bear hair for DNA testing, collaring bears and capturing them for relocation. He will share details of his extensive research and introduce the audience to some of the grizzlies of the area.

Hamilton, meanwhile, will discuss why the grizzlies of the Sea to Sky are important to the region, why they are classified as a “threatened” population, and how essential these bears are to providing genetic diversity for other bear populations in southwest B.C. and in the northwestern U.S., where scientists are hoping to recover the grizzlies of the North Cascades.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.coasttocascades.org/calendar.

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