District of Tofino Designated a Bear Smart Community

Posted: Jun 26, 2024   |   By: Communications

Through ongoing collaboration with WildsafeBC, the District of Tofino has been designated a Bear Smart Community by the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service. This achievement highlights Tofino's ongoing commitment to preventing human-bear conflicts, ensuring public safety, and promoting environmental stewardship and sustainability.

The Bear Smart Community Program, administered by the British Columbia Conservation Officer Service, is a proactive conservation initiative encouraging communities, businesses, and individuals to reduce human-bear conflicts.

Tofino's designation as a Bear Smart Community reflects the successful completion of a set of six criteria, including:

  • Preparing a bear hazard assessment
  • Developing a bear-human conflict management plan
  • Revising planning and decision-making documents
  • Implementing a continuing education program
  • Developing and maintaining a bear-proof waste management system
  • Implementing "Bear Smart" bylaws

The final criterion that the District met was the adoption of the Tofino Wildlife Attractant Bylaw, which Council adopted on Tuesday, April 23, 2024. The bylaw outlines the requirements for residents and businesses regarding the proper use and storage of wildlife-resistant containers. The bylaw also covers managing other attractants, such as fruit trees, bird feeders, and chicken coops.

WildSafeBC will play a crucial role in educating the community about the new Wildlife Attractant bylaw, along with other conflict prevention measures. In 2024, the District of Tofino will provide WildSafeBC with approximately $18,000 in funding to support its initiatives.

The District of Tofino's designation as a Bear Smart Community is a significant milestone in its ongoing efforts to ensure a safe and sustainable environment for both residents and wildlife.


Dan Law, Mayor, District of Tofino: "Earning the Bear Smart Community status is an honour and is a testament to our community's commitment to environmental stewardship and public safety. WildsafeBC has been an invaluable partner in achieving this important step towards a healthy and respectful coexistence with local wildlife."

Bob Hansen, Program Coordinator, WildsafeBC Pacific Rim: "Today marks a milestone in our relationship between bears and people on this landscape that we will always share. The BC Bear Smart Community program provides a structured roadmap for continually striving to co-exist without conflict. There are many challenging requirements to be met to be acknowledged as a Bear Smart Community. The District of Tofino has taken years to accomplish these requirements, and they could only be realized through the collaboration of a broad network of committed partners and community leaders."

Quick Facts

Other Bear Smart Communities in British Columbia include Kamloops, Squamish, Lions Bay, Whistler, Port Alberni, Naramata, New Denver, Coquitlam, Port Hardy, & Castlegar.

Learn More

Bear Smart Community Award Designation
From Left: Sgt. Daniel Eichstadter (BCCOS), Caitlin Beaudin & Bob Hansen (WildsafeBC), Councillor Sarah Sloman, Cameron Schley (BCCOS)

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