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
under 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
- How guides and guests should behave during an unwanted bear encounter.
injured bear, to the guide or to a public safety official (e.g., a National Park Service Ranger, US Forest Service.
- How to report a bear that poses a risk to human safety, such as a food-conditioned, predaceous, or
or Alaska State Trooper)
- Protocol for using bear spray (e.g., how it is carried, types, capsaicin content, size, etc.).
reinforcement or punishment of bears will be necessary at a bear viewing area. However it is prudent to have
- How to use aversive conditioning deterrents on a bear, if necessary. There are few situations where negative
the ability to do so when required.
people in unwanted circumstances, or if (b) a bear inadvertently gets some food reward from a non-natural
- The two most likely situations requiring the guide to punish a bear are (a) if the bear asserts dominance toward
attractant and aggressively pursues it.
procedure should include the following information:
- Emergency procedure in case of a guide or one of the guests is injured or mauled by a bear. This emergency
- 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:
surprise encounter at close range. For example thick vegetation, such as shrubs, that may obscure visibility
- Eliminate or reduce any feature on pathways or trails that may conceal a bear and increase the chance of a
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.