Bear Aware launches challenge 

The Whistler Bear Aware Program has launched a Residential Challenge Campaign to try and reduce human-bear conflicts caused by bears accessing non-natural foods.

The end goal is to decrease the number of bears that fall victim to a variety of human foods, including garbage, recycling, bird seed, pet food and other attractants like barbecues.

The Bear Aware Residential Challenge Campaign 2007 encourages Whistler’s residents, both permanent and seasonal, to download the “Our Promise to the Bears” checklist from www.getbearsmart.com and follow its approaches to becoming a Bear Aware household.

Completed checklists can be dropped off at ballot boxes at any of the following participating businesses: Whistler Home Hardware (Function Junction), Nesters Market, Creekside Market, The Grocery Store in the village, Alpine Meadows Market, and IGA Marketplace.

Participants can hang a copy of the list on their refrigerator to remind them and their household to maintain their commitment to being Bear Aware.

The ballots will be used to keep track of which Whistler neighbourhoods are participating. Each week the list of neighbourhoods participating in order of most residents involved will be announced in local newspapers. In addition, ballots will be entered for prize draws donated by local businesses.

The purpose is to create a program in which everyone can be involved and encourage others in our neighbourhoods to become Bear Aware.

The challenge is one of several elements of the Bear Aware Campaign this year. A business challenge will be announced soon. The campaign also includes door-to-door visits with residents, free bear info nights, and info booths at local grocery stores. Residents will also have the opportunity to fill in a survey on Whistler’s Waste Management System.

For more information, questions, or ideas contact Elena Mensch at emensch@bcccorps.com . Volunteers are also needed for Bear Aware events and programs.

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