Thank you to everyone for your contributions over the years that led us here today to accept this award to become a BC Bear Smart Community and for committing to continuing your efforts to be a bear smart community.
Whistler has been working hard to implement bear smart practices for over a decade. While no community can ever be 100% bear smart, we will always be committed to resolving new issues as they arise in order to minimize human-bear conflict and the number of bears killed as a result. It is an ongoing and evolving process, but it’s nice to have our progress to date recognized.
Whistler has committed to incorporating long-term bear smart practices into its founding community principles, waste infrastructure, educational programs and resident’s lifestyles. Just as we have embraced recycling, energy conservation and reducing our carbon footprint, we are also reducing our ecological footprint. This has truly been a community driven initiative.
I would like to personally thank all of our partners for their persistent hard work and dedication. And trust me…. persistence is key and the reason for our success. We couldn’t have done it without you. Each organization as played such an important role. The Resort Municipality of Whistler has been on side from the start, supporting bear smart efforts even before there was a Bear Smart Community Program.
Carney’s Waste Systems has worked tirelessly from the very beginning, designing, testing, and then re-designing bear-proof waste containers. I think we may have even outsmarted most of the bruins. Both the RCMP and Conservaton Officer Service have adopted non-lethal bear management practices. To Whistler Blackcomb for supporting our habitat replacement program. I am truly grateful for all of your efforts. To my team at the Get Bear Smart Society, thank you for your drive and dedication and for never giving up.
The Get Bear Smart Society would like to thank Whistlerites for their unrelenting cooperation and for taking the time to modify their habits to be bear smart.
I thank the bears and Jeanie in particular for providing my inspiration. My end goal is to make the world a better and kinder place for animals and people to coexist in.
So please, let’s continue to do what is right and bear smart. Let’s do it for Jeanie!