May 17, 2016 Return to Headlines

Coquitlam Seeks Bear Smart Status

by Heather Escaravage |

COQUITLAM, BC, May 17, 2016 – After 10 years educating and informing residents on “Bear Smart” practices, the City of Coquitlam is now seeking formal recognition as a ‘Bear Smart Community’ through the Ministry of Environment. 

The “Bear Smart” Community Program recognizes the actions of the City and the community to implement strategies aimed at reducing the likelihood for bear-human conflicts. There are currently only seven other communities with this designation throughout BC. If successful, Coquitlam will be the first municipality within the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley Regional Districts to achieve “Bear Smart” certification.
Coquitlam has put significant effort into educating the public, and has also increased its enforcement efforts to help ensure both public safety and animal welfare are maintained in the City.

The City is also launching a new public awareness video on how to co-exist with bears in an urban environment. The new video can be seen on the City of Coquitlam’s YouTube channel or at bebearsmart.  

The responsibility to manage bear/human conflicts rests with everyone; Coquitlam’s Bear Smart designation will require participation from the provincial government, the City of Coquitlam, and local citizens and businesses to be successful.

For more information on the City’s Urban Wildlife program, including tips on how you can be “bear smart”, please visit the Urban Wildlife webpage

About Bear Smart BC

The Bear Smart Community program has been designed by the Ministry of Environment in partnership with the British Columbia Conservation Foundation and the Union of British Columbia Municipalities. It is a voluntary, preventative conservation measure that encourages communities, businesses and individuals to work together. The goal is to address the root causes of bear/human conflicts, thereby reducing the risks to human safety and private property, as well as the number of bears that have to be destroyed each year.

This program is based on a series of six criteria that communities must achieve in order to be recognized as being "Bear Smart". 

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Media contact:
Steffanie Warriner
Manager, Environmental Services