GRIZZLY PROTECTION AREAS

Grizzlies were selected as an appropriate species to assist with planning because they play an especially large role in how the web of life in St'at'imc territory functions, and because they require large areas of land to meet their needs. Because grizzlies have large area needs, maintaining their habitat can help ensure the conservation of many other native species that make their home in St'at'imc territory. Grizzly protection areas were designed taking into account grizzly food, shelter and security needs. Without large intact landscapes and a high degree of secure, roadless habitat, the future of grizzly bear populations cannot be expected. Roads affect the effectiveness of habitat, or its the ability to keep grizzly bears alive, in two ways: first, because of conflicts with armed humans, bears are more likely to die within the area influenced by a road; second, many studies show that existence of roads and human use of them displaces grizzly bears and disrupts their activities, and that this can occur even when bears are protected from direct harm by humans. Natural forest cover, particularly next to feeding areas is also critical to grizzly security. Design of St'at'imc Grizzly Protection Areas included identifying areas with low road density. This data was combined with St'at'imc traditional ecological knowledge regarding grizzly habitat, including food sources and movement corridors, to design a system of Grizzly Protection Areas and connections between them. These are full protection areas with an additional prohibition on hunting grizzlies.

"We call the Grizzly our brother, and so are using them as an umbrella species. If you look after the Grizzlies, everything else will be looked after." - Randy James, Tsal'alh