Clearwater County encompasses 18,691 square kilometres of rich and diverse landscape and has an abundance of wildlife. There are many viewing opportunities for both residents and visitors. Whether you’re a visitor (hunter, angler, camper, hiker), or a resident (farmer, rancher, acreage owner) situations may occur where wildlife may pose a conflict with your activity or livelihood.
If the presence of a bear or other wildlife is a safety concern or a nuisance to property, contact the 24 hour toll-free Report A Poacher line at 1-800-642-3800. If the situation is a public safety emergency, call 911.
- The observation date, place and time of the sighting.
- Your name and contact information (all personal information will remain confidential)
- The species (Grizzly, Black Bear, etc.)
- Number of animals; Whether male or female / with or without cubs
- Detailed information about the area: Whether facility, residential, rural, acreage or urban.(GPS coordinates if possible)
- Animal activity at the time (eating, etc.)
Clearwater County - a BearSmart Community
Clearwater County has always promoted Bearsmart practices as so many of our residents visit, live or work in bear territory. Bear habitats are becoming more fragmented and encounters between bears and humans more common. The confluence between the foothills and agricultural land provides bears with attractants that are nutritious and readily available.
We are very proud to be partnering with Mountain View BearSmart Society along with Mountain View County and Alberta Bearsmart to get safety messaging out to our residents and visitors. The goals of the program are to provide people with information to make safe decisions when in bear country. It is important to ensure both a healthy bear population as well as educating people on preventing bear encounters and reducing property damage caused by bears.
Information on Mountain View Bear Smart’s Be Bear Aware campaign can be found at www.mountainviewbearsmart.com or through the Clearwater County webpage at www.clearwatercounty.ca/wildlife. The society was first formed in 2008 and consists of a community-based group of volunteers in conjunction with Alberta Environment and Parks and Mountain View County. Now Clearwater County has joined the partnership which allows our residents to become more involved in workshops and education as well as the ability to report bear and cougar sightings in our area.
The arrival of warm spring weather heralds many enjoyable outdoor activities such as camping and hiking but with that comes an increase in bear/human encounters. When bears come out of their dens after a 5-6-month hibernation they are hungry and looking to double their weight with high energy food. When natural food sources are poor, bears will travel long distances to seek out alternate sources of food. Bears have a keen sense of smell and are attracted to the odour of human food and garbage. Bird and pet food, greasy barbeques and decaying fruit and vegetables are all attractants to hungry bears.
Bears are highly intelligent and have an excellent memory along with a good sense of direction and geography. They will often return to a site where they remember food being readily available and so it is very important to put bearsmart practices into force in order to avoid any future confrontation. In the words of Chiara Feder, Wildlife Biologist with the Provincial government: “Why would you go and pick blueberries for 20 hours a day versus going into a grain bin and sit there for two hours?”
There is a lot of information on Mountain View BearSmart’s website and when Clearwater County is once again able to host events, we will be inviting residents to attend workshops and information sessions. For now, if you see a bear or a cougar please report it by emailing the information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Generalized details of the sighting will be posted on the website and included in the weekly bear activity report. This information can also be accessed through Clearwater County’s website on the Wildlife page. If the wildlife concerned is close to your home or business or threatening in nature, please first contact Fish and Wildlife Offices in Rocky Mountain House at 403-845-8230 or Sundre 403-638-3805.