Grizzly bears are often attracted to food sources created by a natural disturbance or the recent harvesting of an area. Grizzly bears inhabit most of the B.C. and Alberta forests managed by West Fraser. The Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada lists grizzly bear as a "Special Concern" species due to characteristics that make it particularly sensitive to human activities or natural events. In Alberta, the grizzly bear is considered “may be at risk”, while 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 through the disturbance created by 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 better manage these types of situations. The Company continues to work on integrated operational planning with other industry users and as well as supporting ongoing research to help ensure grizzly bears continue to be a prominent feature of the forest landscape.