There is concern among residents, elected officials, and wildlife managers that growth and development in the Bow Valley is leading to more frequent encounters between humans and wildlife.
We must reduce the risk to both humans and wildlife. This will require collaboration between various levels of government, wildlife behaviour experts, and the people that reside in and use the Bow Valley for recreation. No single agency or individual can solve this issue alone.
The Town of Canmore and MLA Cameron Westhead have agreed that a multi-jurisdictional conversation and solution is needed.
On August 15, 2017, Mayor John Borrowman, with the support of council, directed administration to work with their counterparts in the Province to convene a group of representatives from various agencies that will meet to develop a terms of reference for a larger initiative to focus on processes and options to reduce human /wildlife conflict in the Bow Valley and report back to council on the progress of this initiative by the first meeting in October 2017.
On September 15, the first exploratory meeting on human-wildlife coexistence in the Bow Valley was co-hosted by the Town of Canmore and MLA Westhead. Included at the table were representatives from the Town of Banff, Parks Canada, and Alberta Environment and Parks; the MD of Bighorn also sent a representative to observe the proceedings. A technical group will be formed to determine next steps for inter-agency collaboration on this important topic.
With collaboration among our partners and stakeholders, the Town of Canmore believes we can: reduce food sources close to areas where there is high human use, implement and enforce temporary area closures when wildlife is present, work together to address issues when wildlife crosses jurisdictional boundaries, increase effectiveness of public education, and designate and enforce areas where wildlife habitat is the primary land use.