Gateway Gazette

Is a Peaceful Coexistence Between Bears and Humans Possible?

Panel discussion at the Waterton Wildlife Weekend September 15th at 13:30 h

Charlie Russell studying grizzly bears in Kamchatka

The Waterton Wildlife Weekend welcomes visitors from near and far to Waterton Lakes National Park starting Thursday September 13th until Sunday September 16th.

Besides guided walks about wildlife, art- and photography workshops, films from the International Wildlife Film Festival and stargazing there will be a panel discussion about the coexistence of bears and humans. The organizers have invited representatives from different agencies to talk about a topic, which was so dear to the heart of the late Charlie Russell.

Charlie Russell is often referred to as ‘A bear’s best friend’. He advocated that bears are not unpredictable and that a peaceful coexistence between wild bears and humans is possible, if the right measures are implemented. He studied bears for most of his life and guided many walks about bears during past Wildlife Weekends and Wildflower Festivals. After his sudden passing this May the organizers would like to keep his legacy alive. For this reason they have invited Parks Canada, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC), the Cochrane Ecological Institute, the Waterton Biosphere Reserve and Melodey Wood (partner of Charlie Russell) to join a panel discussion. Each of the panelists will talk about their policies and experiences and the challenges they face in their work with bears as well as how Charlie Russell’s views of bears and his experiences can help or be implemented; how they might have influenced the persons on the panel and their agencies already or what difficulties they might see. The panel discussion is followed by a question and answer period.  The panel discussion “Bear and Human’s Coexistence” will take place at the Waterton Community Centre on September 15th at 13:30 h. For more information on the Waterton Wildlife Weekend go to www.watertonwildlife.com.

 

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