The group behind a project addressing human and wildlife interaction has received a financial shot in the arm.
The Alberta government is awarding the Waterton Biosphere Reserve Association $700,000 over the next five years for its Carnivores and Communities Program.
The concept: to find solutions for southwest farmers, ranchers and landowners directly affected by wildlife while at the same time protecting animals caught in the crosshairs.
“Coexisting with wildlife, including large carnivores, is an everyday part of living and working in rural Alberta,” says Todd Loewen, minister of forestry and parks. “This investment will help protect humans, wildlife and infrastructure.”
Among the group’s initiatives is reducing what it calls primary agriculture attractants. That can be everything from managing dead livestock to securing grain, feed and garbage. It also offers bear safety training for ranch families.
Sharing the landscape with large carnivores can be challenging, says CACP co-ordinator Jeff Bectell. “This new funding will enable us to continue helping our community coexist with the wildlife around us.”
Since 2009, the province has supported this project through single- and multi-year grants. However, the last three-year arrangement ended last spring.