Grizzly bears are often attracted to food sources created by a natural disturbance or the recent harvesting of an area. There are grizzly bears in most of our managed forests in B.C. and Alberta. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada lists grizzly bears as a "Special Concern" species. The animal is particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events. In Alberta, the grizzly bear is considered “may be at risk.” In contrast, in British Columbia, grizzlies are “blue-listed,” meaning populations are considered sensitive or vulnerable.
West Fraser is a founding member of the decade-old Grizzly Bear Research Program managed by the Foothills Research Institute. Since the start of the program, more than ten years ago, hundreds of bears have been GPS-collared and tracked in combination with a resource inventory model developed by the program.
Overall, grizzly bears are not significantly impacted by the disturbance of harvest operations. However, the roads used to access these harvest areas are sometimes used by individuals that can cause harm to the bears. West Fraser is working with governments, stakeholders, and other partner organizations to develop coordinated access management plans to manage these types of situations better. The Company continues to work on integrated operational planning with other industry users. We also support ongoing research to help grizzly bears continue to be a prominent feature of the forest landscape.