Grande Prairie BearSmart

The Grande Prairie BearSmart Program was established to educate community residents about strategies to reduce human-bear conflict.

Why is there a BearSmart Program in Grande Prairie?

Grande Prairie is growing as a city and more and more people are moving into what used to be undeveloped wildlife habitat. Department staff, in cooperation with Solicitor General Fish and Wildlife Enforcement Branch, determined that it would be timely to complete a bear hazard assessment.

Grande Prairie Bear Hazard Assessment

A bear hazard assessment is an analysis of the causes and locations of human-bear conflicts in a community.

Based on the results of the hazard assessment, the Grande Prairie and area Fish and Wildlife office has initiated a local BearSmart program.

To read the bear hazard assessment, see:

In June of 2011, an assessment was completed with the goals of:

  • Identifying sources of human-bear conflict in and around the greater Grande Prairie area
  • Providing an overview of what specifically attracts bears that are contributing to human-bear conflicts
  • Providing recommendations for steps to become BearSmart and improving knowledge about bears in the area.

The assessment identified a few key hotspots of bear-human interactions as follows:

  • The area south of Grande Prairie - notably in the subdivisions and smaller communities near the Wapiti River - had higher levels of black bear encounters largely due to garbage attracting bears into communities
  • The area around Sturgeon Lake had higher levels of black bear encounters largely due to garbage attracting bears into communities
  • The area near Goodfare and Rio Grande had higher levels of grizzly bear encounters largely due to agricultural attractants such as deadstock piles.

How can residents help make Grande Prairie a BearSmart community?

As a resident and community member living in one of the many communities in or surrounding Grande Prairie, there are several things that you can do to help ensure that your property and your community are BearSmart.

Educate Yourself

  • Learn about the easy steps you can take to prevent problems with bears.
  • Go to your local library and borrow a copy of the videos:

    • Living Safe in Bear Country
    • Staying Safe in Bear Country
    • Working Safe in Bear Country

    Copies of these DVDs have been donated to the following libraries through the BearSmart program:

    • Beaverlodge
    • Debolt
    • Grande Prairie
    • Hythe
    • La Glace
    • Rycroft
    • Sexsmith
    • Spirit River
    • Valleyview

    DVD videos are also available for loan at the Grande Prairie, Spirit River and Valleyview Fish and Wildlife offices.

Use a Bear-Resistant Bin for Garbage

Through a partnership with the Peace Parkland Naturalists, Bearsaver brand bear-resistant garbage bins are available for a reduced cost to residents living in subdivisions around Grande Prairie and other rural residents living in the Peace Country.

For more information, or to purchase a bin, contact:

Get Involved

Ensuring that your community is BearSmart is the responsibility of everyone. Remind your neighbours to be BearSmart and keep their yard clean of smelly attractants.

What is a smelly attractant? Find out:

Make Contact

Contact the Grande Prairie Fish and Wildlife office at 780-538-5263:

  • If you are interested in starting a more focused, citizen-led BearSmart program in your community
  • If you have more complex issues that you would like to discuss in person with a Fish and Wildlife staff person

Resources may be available to assist in things such as fixing leaking grain bins or providing electric fence barriers around other attractants such as bee yards.