WildSafeBC Bare Campsite Program
Camping in wildlife country brings unique challenges to keeping attractants secure and reducing conflicts with wildlife. WildSafeBC's Bare Campsite Program (WBCP) has been developed to support campground operators with resources and training in order to reduce conflicts with bears and other wildlife at their facilities.
It is based on Bare Campsite Program that was successfully implemented in the 1990s by Parks Canada. This successfully reduced the numbers of bears that became food-conditioned and has saved the lives of many bears. In addition, the campgrounds are safer and a more enjoyable experience for all.
5 Steps for Success
Successful implementation of the Bare Campsite Program involves taking the following steps:
- Create clear expectations before campers arrive and make them aware that they are going to a WildSafeBC Bare Campsite Program (WBCP) campground.
- Repeat WBCP information when they arrive and during their stay.
- Have WBCP bear-resistant infrastructure.
- Provide WBCP training to staff.
- Review campsites and detect concerns before wildlife does.
In addition to training for staff, WildSafeBC has created several resources to support operators in educating their visitors and for training their staff. This includes:
- Training Manual
- Examples of Bare Campsite Permits
- Camping in Wildlife Country Poster (free to download)
- At Risk Vs Bare Campsite (free to download)
- At Risk Vs Bare Picnic Site (free to download)
- WildSafeBC Bare Campsite Review Card (available for purchase)
- WildSafeBC Wildlife in Area Signs (available for purchase)
- WildSafeBC Bare Camping Brochure (low resolution free to download; high quality printed brochures available for purchase)
Please contact us if you would like to arrange for staff training or to purchase additional support materials at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Creating Habits that Last a Lifetime
When people go camping as a family, they are teaching their children about the joys of spending time outdoors and reconnecting to nature. This is also a great opportunity to learn about wildlife, their home and how we can make less of a negative impact on the environment by keeping it free of garbage and conflict. No one wants to see the garbage left behind by others. Keeping a bare campsite is a set of practices that can extend beyond the campsite to how we behave at home. Even in the most urban environments, wildlife such as raccoons, skunks and even coyotes may make an appearance. Keeping attractants secure at all times, is a way of coexisting with wildlife that keeps ourselves, our neighbours and our family safe from negative interactions that can also result in poor outcomes for wildlife.
Check out our WildSafe Ranger page for activities you can do as a family to learn about wildlife and reducing conflict.
WildSafeBC Bare Campsite Program in Action
WildSafeBC first piloted our Bare Campsite Program with the Ucluelet Campground on the Pacific Rim. We thank the operators for recognizing the value of the program and for being early adopters. The short video below features the campground and provides a snapshot of the benefits.