Are you smart about the average bear?

Update: The black bear pictured here was spotted ambling through Lots 12 and 18 at James River Retreat, early morning May  28, 2016.

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We’re fortunate at James River to share the Retreat and the surrounding area with an abundance of wildlife. And the first long weekend of “summer” at JRR also marks the beginning of Bear Awareness Week, a good time to remind ourselves that bears – now well out of hibernation and possibly protecting young cubs – are occasional visitors that command a healthy dose of respect. Both Black bears and Grizzly bears have been known to frequent the area in and around James River Retreat. While we haven’t heard of any bears within the retreat in the last couple of years, there are recent reports of a black bear sighting near Crammond in May and evidence of grizzly bear predation of livestock near Burnstick Lake/Caroline in April.

To stay up to date on weekly Bear Activity in our neck of the woods, we recommend a subscription to Mountain View Bear Smart’s weekly Bear Activity Report. This local not-for-profit organization also provides a great summary of bear facts and information on staying Bear Smart. If you see bears in or around the retreat, please email our Board and Mountain View Bear Smart. Be sure to include details such as date, place, time, species and any observations about the bear’s activities at the time i.e. eating, moving through the area, checking out garbage bins, etc.

Are you Bear smart?

We’re fortunate at James River to share the Retreat and the surrounding area with an abundance of wildlife. And the first long weekend of “summer” at JRR also marks the beginning of Bear Awareness Week, a good time to remind ourselves that bears – now well out of hibernation and possibly protecting young cubs – are occasional visitors that command a healthy dose of respect.

Lucky for us, there’s a local not-for-profit organization called Mountain View Bear Smart that provides a wealth of information on staying Bear Smart wherever you are in Alberta as well as a weekly Bear Activity Report for a wide area including our neck of the woods.

Mountain View Bear Smart is also hosting a Family Fun Day Saturday, May 16 10:30AM to 3:00PM at Elkton Valley Campground. The program for the day will include displays on bear and cougar biology and safety; information on identifying black bear, grizzly bear, cougar, wolf and coyote signs; crafts for the kids and a free hot dog lunch.

For more about this event, including directions to the Elkton Valley Campground, visit the group’s website. And while you’re there, consider supporting the work of this volunteer group with a donation or the purchase of a membership.