With fears of bear attacks, Parks Canada is taking action. Until Sept. 15th, hikers on the Lake Minnewanka Trail section will be required to travel in groups of 4, mountain bikes will be outlawed and it will be mandatory for one individual to carry bear spray.
Those who fail to comply are subject to a mandatory court appearance and up to a $25,000 fine. Parks Canada spokesman Mark Merchant stated, “We really need to emphasize how serious we are… This is the first time we’ve required bear spray. By telling people ‘you have to carry bear spray’ we really think we’re going to drive home the point.
Approximately 60 grizzly and 40 to 50 black bears confide within the boundaries of the park. While there have been no attacks this year, there have been close encounters. Taking no chances, Merchant went on to say, “Bear spray probably is the best tool as a last resort. It has proven more effective then firearms or anything else.”
Security Equipment Corporation, manufacture of Frontiersman Bear Attack Deterrent and SABRE personal safety sprays, better known as pepper spray, urge all to have a plan. Bear spray is a proven tool recommended and used by wildlife professionals across North America.