WATERTON LAKES NP - For the first time, Parks Canada is inviting the public to come to the Crandell Mountain Campground in Waterton Lakes National Park for a "pick and prune" event.
Human/ Wildlife Conflict Specialist Dan Rafla says it will take place Thursday, August 10 at the Crandell Mountain Campground.
"One of our most popular campsites has a lot of berries growing in and around the campsites. Particularly in latter part of July and August, a lot of the berries are ripe, and it brings in a number of different bears in to fatten up for the winter."
To minimize those encounters, Rafla says they'll allow visitors to come in, work with Parks Staff, pick berries and prune the bushes to make the area safer.
"One way to minimize (conflict) is to remove the food source. Sort of like any wild-smart program. You get rid of the attractant and you tend to get rid of your wildlife issue."
It's a pilot project, he explains, to see whether people would be interested in coming out, becoming educated about bear awareness, and having fun at the same time.
"From what I hear there's about 35 people who have already signed up, which is great. But it's open to everybody and there's no cap on that."
The A, B, and K loops in the campground will be targeted, and people are encouraged to bring their buckets, wear appropriate footwear/clothing, bring gloves and either pruning shears and bear spray if they choose.
Groups will have either wildlife officers or guardians with them along with interpreters if necessary.
To register by email, go to [email protected], call 403-859-2224, or you can just show up.
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