Lori Homstol

BC Parks
BC Parks and the Nuxalk First Nation are collaboratively starting a research project with a graduate student investigating the impacts of bear viewing on bears using the Atnarko River in Tweedsmuir Provincial Park. The Bella Coola valley has become increasingly popular as a bear viewing destination during September and October salmon runs. BC Parks and the Nuxalk First Nation have signed a management plan to establish temporal and spatial refugia for bears along the Atnarko River, and a wildlife viewing area was created to increase visitor safety and to minimize potential impacts to bears. However, the effectiveness of these actions to minimize potential impacts to bears is largely unknown. Our evaluation consists of documenting bear and human activity levels and spatial distribution along the river, conducting 10 minute focal scans on individual bears and documenting a time budget to each observed activity (fishing, traveling, feeding), and documenting bear response to people in boats and at bear viewing locations.