This page was copied almost verbatim from the Commercial Bear Viewing Association of British Columbia to serve as a
starting point for a comparable statement by BVA.

1.  Member companies must hold themselves to the highest standard of care and safety for guests and bears.

2.  Member companies will articulate a thorough emergency and contingency response plan and ensure their
employees have appropriate training on its contents. Guests should be briefed to the level appropriate as outlined
Guest Safety & Education     The emergency response plan should include:

  •     List of emergency contact numbers to be readily available to all staff and carried by each guide when on
    an outing.

  •     How guides and guests should behave during an unwanted bear encounter.

  •     How to report a bear that poses a risk to human safety, such as a food-conditioned, predaceous, or
    injured bear, to the guide or to a public safety official (e.g., a National Park Service Ranger, US Forest Service.
    or Alaska State Trooper)

  •     Protocol for using bear spray (e.g., how it is carried, types, capsaicin content, size, etc.).

  •    How to use aversive conditioning deterrents on a bear, if necessary. There are few situations where negative
   reinforcement or punishment of bears will be necessary at a bear viewing area.  However it is prudent to have
   the ability to do so when required.

  •     The two most likely situations requiring the guide to punish a bear are (a) if the bear asserts dominance toward
     people in unwanted circumstances, or if (b) a bear inadvertently gets some food reward from a non-natural
     attractant and aggressively pursues it.

  •     Emergency procedure in case of a guide or one of the guests is injured or mauled by a bear. This emergency
    procedure should include the following information:

  • The first priority is for the guide or guests to neutralize the threat from the bear if there is a safe means to do
    so, such as use of bear spray or a firearm.

  • The second priority is to secure the group and attend to the casualty, if it is now safe to do so.

  • Arrange for emergency evacuation of the casualty if there is serious injury by a bear. The casualty should get
    professional medical help even if the injuries do not seem serious as the risk of infection from bear bites or
    scratches is high.

  • The injury or mauling should be reported to a CO or RCMP officer as soon as possible. Any information
    deemed relevant to an investigation by the CO or RCMP must be provided.

  • Any time there is serious human injury caused by a bear a CO or RCMP officer likely will travel to the scene
    right away to investigate.

  • Ensure people on site minimize disturbance to the scene and do as much as possible to preserve evidence;
    warn others not to go in to the area of the mauling.

3.  Member companies will strive to reduce other potential hazards to guests as much as possible. For example:

  •    Eliminate or reduce any feature on pathways or trails that may conceal a bear and increase the chance of a    
   surprise encounter at close range. For example thick vegetation, such as shrubs, that may obscure visibility
   should be thinned or selectively removed to a minimum of one meter on either side of a trail. Blind corners
   should be remedied by straightening the trail as much as possible.
Bear Naturalist Guide
Certification Manual
Index of  Bear  Webpages
Bear Viewing Association
To watch, to wonder, and to conserve
Ph/Fax (907) 260-9059 (Office)
39200 Alma Ave.    Soldotna, AK  99669
bear viewing Alaska, bear photography, bear safety, bear behavior

Answers to questions commonly asked by wildlife viewers on the topics listed below:
Index of  Bear  Webpages
Bear Viewing Association
To watch, to wonder, and to conserve
Ph/Fax (907) 260-9059 (Office)
39200 Alma Ave.    Soldotna, AK  99669
bear viewing Alaska, bear photography, bear safety, bear behavior
Risk Management