Bear Alliance launched to give organizations stronger voice

The BC Bear Alliance, made up over more than two dozen bear organizations across the province, launched earlier this month.

The group is dedicated to finding solutions to protect and co-exist with bears, according to Christine Miller, who was the education coordinator and executive director of the North Shore Black Bear Society for 15 years before retiring last year.

Miller, who is co-chairing the new alliance, said the organization’s goal is simple: to consolidate the voices of dozens of groups across the province so they have a stronger front for advocating for a world where humans and bears can exist in harmony.

“When you’re trying to initiate positive change, say at the provincial government level, they get letters and emails and correspondence from so many different individuals and organizations,” noted Miller. “It was decided that if we had a unified voice, it would be better.”

Sylvia Dolson, who started the Get Bear Smart Society in Whistler in 1996, is the alliance’s other co-chair along with Miller.

While standing together in solidarity, the alliance has outlined a number of priorities and initiatives it hopes to tackle going forward.

Among those priorities would be developing a standardized toolkit that municipalities throughout the province could look to when creating good bear bylaws, solid waste management plans and other educational initiatives to allow humans and bruins to co-exist peacefully in communities, said Miller.

Visit bearalliance.com for more information.

By Alyssa Noel, Pique Newsmagazine