Grizzly bears are listed as a Threatened species within Alberta, meaning that habitat alteration and human-caused mortality have the potential to put the species at a risk of disappearing from the Alberta landscape.
One of the main hindrances to grizzly bear recovery efforts in northern Alberta is a lack of knowledge on grizzly bears in the area. Grizzlies in northern Alberta’s Grizzly Bear Management Area 1 (also referred to as BMA 1) experience different habitat and landscape conditions from the rest of Alberta’s grizzly bear range. Therefore, it is very difficult to apply grizzly bear knowledge learned elsewhere in the province, to the vast landscape of BMA 1.
Multi-stakeholder collaboration, including government, researchers, petroleum industry, forestry, utilities sector, agriculture, recreation and other land users is a vital step in learning more about Northwest grizzlies.
The Northwest Grizzly Bear Program was reconvened in January 2014 as a collaboration between government, industry, and researchers to address grizzly bear knowledge gaps in BMA1. Members of the NW Program team include:
- Alberta Environment and Parks (AEP) Resource Management staff
- Alberta Agriculture and Forestry (AAF) staff
- Daishowa-Marubeni International Ltd. (DMI)
- Canadian Forest Products Ltd. (Canfor)
- Manning Forest Products, a division of West Fraser Ltd. (MFP)
- Boucher Bros. Lumber Ltd.
- Tolko Industries
- ATCO Electric
- Canadian Natural Resources Limited (CNRL)
- Husky Energy
- Public at Large representative
Additionally, this team works in collaboration with:
- Miistakis Institute (MI)
- Dr. Scott Nielsen (University of Alberta)
- Alberta Conservation Association (ACA)
- Dr. Samuel Cushman (U.S. Forest Service)
- Gordon Stenhouse (Foothills Research Institute)
- Dr. Garrett Street (Mississippi State University)
- Alberta Energy Regulator (AER)
The aim of this team is to leverage available funding, resources, and opportunities to identify and address knowledge gaps related to grizzly bear population size and habitat use within BMA 1. Secondly, this team aims to identify practical, locally appropriate practices and contributions industry can make to Alberta’s grizzly bear recovery goals within an integrated forum. The team has a long list of projects we would like to accomplish, and with two major programs currently underway.
Stay tuned to this blog for updates on GrizzTracker, and the Northwest Grizzly Bear Program!
For general information on grizzlies in Alberta, or Grizzly Bear Recovery, visit: http://aep.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/wild-species/mammals/bears/grizzly-bear.aspx or http://aep.alberta.ca/fish-wildlife/wildlife-management/grizzly-bear-recovery-plan/default.aspx