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The 2014 Aviva Community Fund is complete.

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Grand Prize Winner
2012 Winner

Promoting Human/Bear Coexistence through Education and Action

ACF13612 Mike McIntosh Sprucedale, Ontario, P0A1Y0

Created September 24, 2012 by Mike McIntosh


Sprucedale, Ontario, P0A1Y0

Funding Level

$50k - $100k (< 2014)

Community Size

More than 1,000


What we do: For 20 years the Bear With Us Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre for Bears has been caring for and returning to the wild, injured or orphan bears. Mike McIntosh the president spends time speaking to school groups, nature clubs, cub/scouts/girl guides and others about his topic entitled "Understanding Bears". Bear With Us Sanctuary and Rehabilitation Centre for Bears(BWU) is authorized through Mike to care for, return to wild, live trap, sedate/tranquilize and practice aversive conditioning when required to resolve human/bear conflicts - (commonly known as nuisance bears) by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. Police will call BWU to help alleviate a tricky situation involving a bear and the public. BWU gets many calls from the general public regarding nuisance bears. Bear With Us through Mike has a good working relationship with Ministry of Natural Resources personal.
Problem and Concern: The government of Ontario in 2012 demanded severe cutbacks including the Ministry of Natural Resources. The Ministry's excellent BEAR WISE program has been gutted. The MNR is no longer able to deal with human/bear conflicts or nuisance bears in a direct manner. An example would be live trapping the bear and translocating the bear to another location away from conflict. The MNR has done this for years. Mike through BWU has performed similar activity in the Muskoka and Parry Sound Districts in Ontario. Solution: Now that the local MNR personal are no longer able to deal with bears and human conflict, Bear With Us needs to take action in bigger way. This would include expanding the education program and intensifying the human/bear conflict resolution activities in the Parry Sound and Muskoka Districts.
A positive environmental impact will be the result : People will better learn how to coexist with our indigenous wildlife, bears in this case. Understanding bears and their motives reduces fear, increases awe and greatly enhances the experience of cottaging, camping, canoeing and living in the beautiful area of Parry Sound and the Muskoka Districts.
Success can be measured : Reduced needless killing or injuring of bears. Success will also result in the reduced chance of a person being injured by a bear. Success will be realized by people enjoying their experience inclusive of wildlife in the area.
The Bear With Us Sanctuary is here to stay. Supported by private and corporate believers (funders), Bear With Us will only go forward and continue to improve the effectiveness of programs. Bear With Us has four areas of operation. This information is available at