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Province hires Bear Aware co-ordinator

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B.C.’s Bear Aware program has received a $50,000 boost from the provincial government. The funding will pay for a full-time co-ordinator for the educational program.

"Public safety is of primary importance in our approach to bear management," said B.C.’s Environment, Lands and Parks Minister Ian Waddell. "The new Bear Aware co-ordinator will improve our effort to manage bear problems in residential areas."

The Bear Aware program, run by the British Columbia Conservation Foundation, teaches B.C. communities how to avoid attracting bears. About 1,000 black bears are killed each year as a result of conflicts between bears and humans. Most of these incidents involve bears drawn to residential areas by garbage, beehives and fallen fruit.

The new program co-ordinator will be based in Kamloops and will work to improve communication among community groups, co-ordinate fund-raising, develop program materials and provide startup assistance to interested communities.

More information about the Bear Aware program can be found on the B.C Conservation Foundation’s Web site, www.bearaware.bc.ca.

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