Southwestern Alberta residents have expressed concern about growing grizzly bear, black bear and wolf and cougar populations, the increasing frequency of conflicts with large carnivores and the impacts of large carnivores on local livelihoods and community safety.
The Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association has worked successfully to promote peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife in the Waterton Biosphere Region through its Carnivores and Communities Program (CACP). Alberta’s government is proud to continue supporting this program by investing $700,000 over five years, with a $160,000 contribution in 2023-24 and $135,000 annually for the subsequent four years.
“Coexisting with wildlife, including large carnivores, is an everyday part of living and working in rural Alberta. The Carnivores and Communities Program is making a difference for farmers, ranchers and landowners in the Waterton Biosphere Region and this investment will help protect humans, wildlife and infrastructure.”
The CACP takes a community-based approach, working with Albertans living in the area to reduce primary agriculture attractants by managing dead livestock and bee yards, and securing facilities for grain, feed and garbage while ensuring both people and carnivores have a place on the land. Initiatives under the CACP include the Deadstock Removal Program, on-farm carcass composting, electric fence installation, wildlife attractant reduction and bear safety training for ranch families.
The CACP is especially helpful to producers because it equips them with the right predation management tools to reduce conflict with large carnivores, which lowers the economic impact of these predators.
“Sharing the landscape with large carnivores can be challenging and requires many human and infrastructure resources. We appreciate the Alberta government's long-standing support for the Carnivores and Communities Program and this new funding will enable us to continue helping our community coexist with the wildlife around us.”
Alberta’s government has supported the CACP since 2009 through a series of single and multi-year grants. The last three-year grant agreement ended on March 31. The government will continue to support initiatives that reduce the risk of human-wildlife conflict and promote safe outdoor environments.