Crowsnest Conservation Society

REPORT: Overview of Crowsnest Conservation Society’s Bear-Resistant Garbage Bin Program – February 2015

Shortly after the inception of the Alberta BearSmart program in May 2006, Crowsnest Conservation Society initiated a bear-resistant garbage bin demo program in the Crowsnest Pass to provide residents a tangible solution to BearSmart garbage management. The following report describes the operation of the Crowsnest Conservation BearSmart Bear-Resistant Garbage Bin Program, experience with several styles of bins, and measures of program effectiveness. This report is intended to share information that may be useful for other community BearSmart groups and government agencies interested in starting or improving a bear-resistant bin loan program.

To review the report, click here. CCS Bear Bin Program Summary-Feb2015


Being BearSmart in Crowsnest Pass

Surrounded by forests and waterways, Crowsnest Pass is situated in a spectacular location. Beyond the community lies important wildlife habitat.

Food deliberately or unwittingly provided by human neighbours entices wildlife into the community, compromising the safety of both animals and community residents. Deer or moose that wander into town to feed on attractants can be followed by predators such as cougars.

As a BearSmart Community, Crowsnest Pass is working towards eliminating wildlife attractants and reducing the number of human-wildlife encounters.

What are wildlife attractants?

: garbage : apples : bird/hummingbird feed : compost : barbecues : pet food : human food :

How can we be BearSmart?

  • Store your garbage in bear-proof containers or buildings. Only put your garbage out on the morning of pick-up.
  • Pick your apples and berries and windfall regularly.
  • Consider indoor composting (worms or electric composter) instead of outdoor composting.
  • Use bird feeders only between October 31-April 1. If the weather in late fall or early spring is mild, contact Fish and Wildlife to see if they recommend having feed available.
  • Store pet food indoors and bring in pet dishes overnight.
  • Never leave food out for wildlife.
  • Plant non-fruit bearing trees and shrubs when landscaping.
  • Stay up-to-date on the latest bear occurrences by reading Crowsnest Conservation’s BearBriefs in the local papers during the fall.
  • Participate in a BearSmart education event.
  • Report all bear and cougar sightings to our local Fish and Wildlife Office at (403) 562-3289 or after hours call Report-A-Poacher at 1 (800) 642-3800.
  • Consider joining the Crowsnest Conservation BearSmart Committee.
  • Support and advocate for a community-wide BearSmart waste management program & policies.

Crowsnest Conservation Helping You Be BearSmart:

Bear-proof Garbage Bin Loan Program: If you need a secure place to store your waste, consider borrowing a bear-proof garbage container, at no cost, from Crowsnest Conservation.

Apple Network: If you need help picking your fruit or are looking for some free apples, join our Apple Network and be part of an old-fashioned apple exchange.

Apple Tree Swap: If you have a history of bear-in-tree problems, consider a free exchange of your apple tree for a non-fruit bearing tree.

Apple Round-up: Each year we partner with community volunteers and local schools to help residents who are unable to pick their fruit.

Apple Recipe Book: If you need creative recipe ideas for using extra apples, download a copy our Crowsnest Pass Apple Cookbook on our Resources Page.

Worm Composting: Do you need tips on how to indoor, worm compost (vermi-composting)? Contact Crowsnest Conservation for helpful tips and suggestions to try setting up your own worm composter.

Indoor Composter Loan Program: Consider trying out an indoor electric composter available on loan from Crowsnest Conservation.

Education: “Like” our Crowsnest Conservation BearSmart Facebook Page to follow the latest bear occurrences, research, and events in the region. Take part in an interactive Bear Safety Training Program.

For more information about being BearSmart or the Crowsnest Conservation BearSmart Initiatives:

  • Contact
    • Crowsnest Conservation BearSmart Phone: Elizabeth Anderson, BearSmart Coodinator at (403) 563-0058,
    • Crowsnest Conservation Other Inquiries: Main Office at (403) 753-2040,
    • Our local Fish and Wildlife Office at (403) 562-3289 or after hours call Report-A-Poacher at 1 (800) 642-3800.
  • Visit

BearSmart Survey Results Are In!

Last year, Crowsnest Conservation BearSmart and the Government of Alberta ran a voluntary survey for all residents and weekenders in Crowsnest Pass to gather information on your knowledge, attitudes, opinions and behaviors related to black bears and grizzly bears in the area, as it relates to the community BearSmart program. A similar survey was run simultaneously in the Grande Prairie region too.

The survey asked you on your opinion on bears in Alberta, what you know about the BearSmart program, and to find out what type of programming you want to see here in Crowsnest Pass.

The survey results are in and we thank you for all of your responses and comments!

Check out the survey results here: Public Results-Final, blue (PDF document)

Donate Now Through!

Mail:     P.O. Box 242, Crowsnest Pass, AB, T0K 0E0
Office:  12707-20 Avenue, Crowsnest Pass, AB
Phone: (403) 753-2040