By Andrea Arnold

The Province is calling for residents of BC to share their thoughts on grizzly bear stewardship and commercial bear viewing. Once they have gathered this data, the Province says it will be put towards developing strategies to strengthen environmental stewardship and biodiversity.

The Ministry of Forests has created a draft copy of Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework and the Commercial Bear Viewing Strategy, and is asking for public feedback through two online questionnaires that will be accessible until Aug 18th.

The Canadian grizzly bear population is estimated to be 26,000. In some areas their overall range seems to be expanding, according to the document. It also states that there is no evidence that their population is in decline, but that there are areas of the country they no longer inhabit. The document outlines many different elements that affect the bear population, and lists several factors that can serve as threats to grizzly bear population units: Residential and commercial development, agriculture, energy production and mining, road and rail corridors, resource use (including forestry, Human intrusions and disturbance including commercial and non-commercial back-country recreation, natural events, diseases, bear population, and  climate change and severe weather.) 

There is a chart included in the document that shows across the Robson Valley, the grizzly bear female mortality rate is considered to be at a moderate, low-moderate or negligible level, depending on the area of the valley you are in.

The Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework outlines a plan to strengthen stewardship of bears and their habitat. The plan involves better managing biodiversity in BC and ensuring bears continue to be an integral part of healthy ecosystems. 

“This framework focuses on, and intends to provide, structure and guidance for discussion and action to the people and governments in the Province of British Columbia to steward and co-exist with grizzly bears.”  British Columbia Grizzly Bear (Ursus Arctos) Stewardship Framework.

It explains several different acts that have been put into place, or may be put into place that should help manage the bear’s habitat.

The strategy for commercial bear viewing in the wild, provides guidance and recommendations for viewing bears in a safe manner, one that reduces the viewer’s influence on the bears. It suggests development of area-based viewing plans to ensure a healthy and sustainable wildlife tourism in BC.

In the creation of these documents, many First Nations and wildlife organizations were consulted. Grizzly bears have special cultural significance in British Columbia. They play an important role in many First Nations cultures, as well as tourism and recreational activities.

To view the whole draft document, visit

To participate in the Grizzly Bear Stewardship Framework questionnaire, visit:

To participate in the Commercial Bear-Viewing Strategy questionnaire, visit: