In 2011, there were over 900 reported bear sightings in Maple Ridge. 16 bears were declared to be 'problem' bears and had to be destroyed.
This year, together with Ridge Meadows Recycling, the District launched a Bear Aware campaign in our community.
Bear Aware is the educational component of the Ministry of Environment's Bear Smart Program. The main goal of Bear Aware is to "reduce the number of bear-human conflicts in communities through education, innovation and cooperation."
The most common human-bear interactions in Maple Ridge are with black bears. Due to the abundance of food available to black bears, the population has exploded. The grizzly bear population has shrunk in our area due to high human occupation, but grizzlies have been sighted as close as the upper Pitt River Valley in 2011.
It can be difficult to tell the difference between black bears and grizzly bears because both of their colouring can vary from blonde to black. With black bears, their colouring can also include white and blue.
What about Bears? A Guide to Coexisting with Bears [PDF, 3.0MB]
Who's Who, Know Your Bears [PDF, 359B]