The Get Bear Smart Society (GBS)* is a registered Canadian charity that works hard to ensure people and bears safely and respectfully coexist wherever their homes and home ranges overlap.
Our staff, board and supporters champion progressive management policies and human behaviours that reduce human-bear conflicts. This inevitably improves public safety, limits property damage and reduces the number of bears that needlessly die each year as a result of these preventable conflicts.
We accomplish our mission by:
- educating people about how to prevent human-bear conflicts in and around their homes, neighbourhoods and communities;
- helping policymakers find cost-effective solutions to the challenges of creating Bear Smart communities, including the implementation of effective conflict management policies and regulations and bear-proof waste management systems;
- and promoting innovative and practical non-lethal bear management practices.
Although our work informs and influences bear management practices and policies across North America, we focus much of our time and energy on the resort community of Whistler, BC, where we are based. The improvements achieved over the years as part of our BearSmart Whistler Program illustrate what can be accomplished by implementing Bear Smart policies and practices.
As a result of Get Bear Smart programs, the number of conflict bears that have been killed has been reduced by more than 50 per cent over the last decade — despite the fact the number of human-bear interactions has increased four-fold. This makes Whistler a leader in the ongoing attempt to establish a truly Bear Smart community that can act as a model for other communities to follow.
* The Get Bear Smart Society (GBS), formerly known as the Jennifer Jones Whistler Bear Foundation, is a non-profit registered charity formed in 1995. The Society is incorporated in the province of British Columbia (S-36282) and registered as a charity for income tax purposes with the Government of Canada: (#87720 6565 RR0001).