Evolution of Bear Management in the Mountain National Parks
The Lake Louise dump is closed.
The first scientific research on grizzly bears is undertaken
in Banff National Park. A number of bear related research projects
in national parks begin to provide factual data that will help refine
Bear proof garbage bin design is refined.
Ottawa issues a series of operational policy directives concerning
bear management, which increases consistency in bear management
In Yoho National Park, the annual bear management report notes
five grizzly bears were relocated, two destroyed, and two killed
on the highway (one a “eturn” bear). Eight black bears
were relocated and five were destroyed – four were “eturn”
bears. The report notes an increased number of grizzly bear observations
and links this to the closure of the Lake Louise dump.
Kootenay National Park begins hauling its garbage to a dump
outside the park.
A pamphlet titled “You are in Bear Country” is produced.
Large signs warning of wildlife and other hazards are posted at all park entrances.
The National Film Board of Canada distributes the film “Bears and Man”,
which relates bear issues and management in Canada’s national parks.
The National Park Policy is revised to strengthen preservation
goals. Under the Wildlife Regulations, it becomes unlawful to disturb
or destroy wildlife, their lair or den or to touch, feed, or entice
wildlife. Human activities within the natural habitat of bears begins
to be managed to promote the regulation of bear populations by natural
processes. A Superintendent can now limit the number of hikers on
trails, or remove visitors from specific areas, and regulate visitor
activities to prevent human-bear conflicts.
Over an 11-day period, three bear attacks occur at Whiskey
Creek near the town of Banff. A large 10-year old male grizzly bear
is destroyed. The bear is identified as one that had been observed
feeding on improperly stored restaurant garbage just prior to the
attacks. A necropsy reveals the bear had fed on garbage for many
The landfill at Banff is closed to all but trade waste and
the first garbage transfer station is set up for household garbage.
Residents are asked not to put their garbage out until the day of
pick-up. Residential bear-proof garbage bins soon become standard.
The ‘dump bears’ shift to another garbage dump five
miles away; it is soon closed as well.
All western parks are directed to prepare bear management
plans according to a specified outline.
Banff, Jasper, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks and British Columbia’s
Mount Robson, Mount Assiniboine and Hamber Provincial Parks are
Rocky Mountain World Heritage Site, one of the largest protected
areas in the world.
The book “Bear Attacks: Their Causes and Avoidances”
by Dr. Stephen Herrero is published.
The first management plans for Yoho, Banff, Kootenay and Jasper
National Parks are tabled in Parliament. A review of the plans begins
in 1993, but is postponed until 1996 when the Banff-Bow Valley Task
Force will submit its recommendations concerning protection of the
Bow Valley corridor in Banff.
An amendment to the National Parks Act legislates maintaining
ecological integrity or protecting “intact ecosystems”
as the first priority in park management.
Alberta government wildlife biologists make the first province-wide
population estimate for Alberta grizzly bears.
A three-year grizzly bear study begins in Yoho and Kootenay National
Parks. Collared grizzly bears are found to use habitat in up to
five different jurisdications: Banff, Yoho and Kootenay National
Parks, Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park and provincial lands in
British Columbia; none stayed solely within Yoho or Kootenay National
Parks. A high level of human-caused mortality is documented.
A Committee on the Status of Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC)
review of grizzly bear populations and habitat finds that Canada’s
remaining grizzly population is at risk, with over 60% of the bear
population either vulnerable or threatened.
conditioning is first applied in Banff National Park to a young grizzly
bear bluff charging people that approached it at bear
jams on the Icefields Parkway.
Canada signs the Biodiversity Convention at the Rio Earth
Summit. One of the main objectives of the convention is the conservation
of biological diversity. Less than 8% of Canada’s grizzly
population is protected in national parks.
The Parks Canada Policy of 1979 is replaced with new policy
to reflect changes such as the 1988 amendment to the National Parks
The Eastern Slopes Grizzly Bear Project begins (1994-2002) based
out of the University of Calgary. Its goal is to scientifically
understand the cumulative effects of human developments and activities
on grizzly bears in the Central Rockies Ecosystem.
The West Slopes Bear Research Project begins based out of Revelstoke,
B.C. Its goal is to determine grizzly bear and black bear population
numbers and causes of mortality in the Yoho-Golden-Glacier area
of British Columbia.
The Banff Bow Valley Task Force undertakes a comprehensive
analysis of the state of the Bow River watershed in Banff National
Park. The Task Force concludes that unless immediate action is taken,
the qualities that make Banff a national park will be lost. Questions
are raised about whether the ecological integrity of other parks
is also under pressure.
Bear #16, a juvenile male grizzly bear with a home range in the
Bow Valley is placed in the Calgary Zoo, but lost from the ecosystem.
The young bear had become bold due to repeated exposure to people
at bear jams along the Bow Valley Parkway and Trans-Canada Highway.
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