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Bear researcher getting international attention


Black bear researcher Michael Allen is getting e-mail from Europe these days, since the story of his bear work was published in the November issue of Geolino , a magazine for youths published by UNICEF.

The story, written in German, has prompted inquiries about the bear viewing tours Allen leads on Whistler Mountain in the summers. The tours will be back again next summer.

The Geolino story is just the latest international exposure for Allen. The 1998 BBC documentary In the Company of Bears has aired in Britain and in the United States, on the Discovery Channel.

Allen is working with filmmaker Jeff Turner, who shot In the Company of Bears , again this winter. The two are making a documentary on cougars in the Princeton area.

The cougar film is a new direction for Allen, but he’s got lots of bear work this winter, too. He’ll be reconstructing a bear skeleton from bones recently found in the Function Junction area. The bear likely died as a result of injuries sustained after being hit by a vehicle.

The skeleton reconstruction project will be done with students from Myrtle Philip school. The finished skeleton will be on display at the school in the spring, as part of his ongoing black bear education program that has seen him talk to more than 4,000 students about bears in the last five years.

Allen recently returned from making a presentation on Creating Bear Aware Communities at the Columbia Mountains Institute of Applied Ecology in Revelstoke.

Write on Canada

Extremely Canadian, the seven-year-old Whistler company that specializes in freeskiing clinics, is earning accolades in a couple of publications.

The Winter 2002 issue of SBC Skier features Extremely Canadian’s Chris Eby on the cover and an article headlined 65 Canadian Skiers You Should Know profiles 14 Extremely Canadian coaches.

Extremely Canadian owner/operator Peter Smart is also named to the SBC Skier Hall of Fame.

Meanwhile, the Best of Winter 2002 is the feature story in the December issue of Men’s Journal , and Extremely Canadian is recognized with a certificate of excellence for best ski school.

You may also keep an eye out for the December issue of Powder magazine, where Extremely Canadian coach Jasmine Flanagan is that month’s Powder Girl.

Christie recognized

Vancouver’s Guy Christie, president of Descente North America, received the 2001 Winterstart Award at the Chateau Lake Louise World Cup dinner last week.

Christie, a frequent Whistler visitor, was recognized for his contributions to Canadian ski racing over the past 40 years. His achievements include being a member of the Canadian Alpine Ski Team in 1962-63, a CAST coach, coach of the Alberta Ski Team, Japanese men’s coach, Jasper club coach, FIS international technical delegate, and a member of the Alpine Canada board of directors from 1982 to 1990, including four years as chairman.

In the late 1970s Christie began importing and distributing ski equipment from Japan, including Yamaha skis and later Descente ski wear. Descente has been the supplier of ski wear to CAST since 1978.

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