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Case Study: Enhancing Camper and Wildlife Safety in Bighorn Backcountry

Project Overview

With the Bighorn Backcountry's popularity among campers soaring, the need for secure food storage solutions became crucial. Recognizing the urgent requirement to mitigate human-bear conflicts, Environment and Parks spearheaded an initiative to install bear-resistant food lockers at eight of the most frequented hike-in campsites.


The Bighorn Backcountry, celebrated for its untouched beauty and diverse wildlife, faced a pressing challenge. An increase in camper activity led to a rise in improperly stored food, unintentionally inviting bears into campsites. This not only endangered the safety of the campers and the bears but also risked habituating

bears to human presence, often leading to tragic consequences for the wildlife.


In a collaborative effort, West Fraser and Ahlstrom Air Ltd. joined forces with Environment and Parks, demonstrating exemplary corporate citizenship and dedication to environmental stewardship. West Fraser Mills Ltd. tapped into its Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta account, generously covering the full cost of the project. The solution comprised of 13 cutting-edge, bear-resistant lockers, each capable of withstanding the curious and powerful attempts of bears seeking food. These lockers were carefully airlifted and installed at strategic locations by Ahlstrom Air Ltd.’s helicopters, minimizing the ecological impact on the surrounding wilderness.


Post-installation, the lockers have been a resounding success. Equipped with instructional stickers, they educate both new and experienced campers on proper food storage practices. By effectively eliminating the odors and sights of food, the risk of bears becoming habituated—and thus dangerous—to humans is significantly reduced. Haul-All’s involvement in supplying these lockers has not only underscored our commitment to wildlife conservation but has also played a vital role in safeguarding the well-being of the camping community and the bears that call Bighorn Backcountry home.

Future Implications

This project serves as a benchmark for collaborative conservation efforts, showcasing how responsible funding, innovative technology, and educational outreach can create a harmonious balance between human recreation and wildlife safety. Haul-All continues to be at the forefront, eager to replicate this model across North America, reinforcing our pledge to create a safer environment for both people and nature.


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