2008 Premier's Award
The Whistler Bear Working Group (WBWG), which was co-founded by the Get Bear Smart Society in 2002, received the Premier's Award, a provincial accolade recognizing public service excellence. The WBWG was chosen in the Lower Mainland region in the Partnership category.
GBS worked with Whistler businesses and property owners to conduct a waste audit and ensure their waste containment systems are bear-proof. So far, over two dozen facilities have been bear-proofed.
We also worked with the Resort Municipality of Whistler to develop and pass a bear-attractant bylaw, which makes it a punishable offence to leave unsecured garbage and other bear attractants, including bird feeders, accessible to bears.
The Get Bear Smart website, the most comprehensive online resource about how to keep people and bears safe where their ranges overlap, was visited almost 3,000,000 times by 100,000 different visitors from 145 countries around the world - including Eritrea and Togo.
GBS delivered dozens of bear safety and non-lethal bear management courses to a variety of important stakeholders, including businesses/workers in bear country as well as the B.C. Conservation Officer Service and the RCMP.
GBS volunteers planted over 250 mountain-ash trees (Sorbus sitchensis) on Whistler & Blackcomb Mountains to draw bears away from the valley bottom and out of conflict zones during the fall.
Bear Smart education
GBS ran hundreds of public service announcements on local radio and TV stations and distributed thousands of brochures, educating tens of thousands of B.C. residents and visitors.
One of GBS's Directors, Dr. John Beecham, was asked to chair the IUCN-BSG Human-Bear Conflict Expert Team that will provide information and/or assistance to individuals or governments world wide faced with difficult decisions about how they can successfully resolve these conflicts.