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001 Buffaloberries and Bears, Banff signs, and The Amazing Race

In this eposode we discuss Amazing Race Canada kicking off Season 4 in Jasper National Park. We also look at the importance of buffaloberries to our local bear population. Finally, we talk about Banff removing the Bill Peyto signs from both entrances to Banff.

Story 1 – The Amazing Race Canada comes to Jasper

On June 28 the 4th season of the Amazing Race Canada kicked off with a visit to Alberta’s Jasper National Park. They did some crazy things but the scariest of all was climbing out of tram car at the Jasper Tramline and climb down one side, cross beneath hand over hand on a set of monkey bars, and then climb back up the opposite side. It was a great showcase for Jasper, but we need to begin looking at whether we need events like this in the mountain National Parks. Banff and Jasper are getting busier and busier and we need to begin looking at ways to reduce visitation in certain key areas like Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.

Story 2 – Buffaloberries and Bears

This year the buffaloberry crop ripened far ahead of schedule and it looks like it’s a bumper crop this year. This plant is the single most important food for black and grizzly bears in the Canadian Rockies. It is the one food that helps them to build their fat layers for winter. When feeding on buffaloberries, Grizzly bears will eat between 50,000 and 200,000 berries every single day.

Learning to recognize seasonal foods for bears is a great way to improve your safety in bear country – and if you don’t know this one plant then get out a book and learn to identify it. No other plant is more important to bears in the Rockies and this plant lines most of our low elevation trails. You can learn more about the seasonal foods of bears here: http://mountainnature.com/Wildlife/Bears/BearDiet.htm.

Story 3 – Banff taking down the Bill Peyto signs at both entrances to town

For years the mesmerizing stare of outfitter and guide Bill Peyto has greeted visitors as they enter Banff Townsite. The town has now decided to replace the signs with something new. In this story we look at the life of Bill Peyto and discuss the beautiful lake that now bears his name.

Don’t forget to follow us at www.MountainNaturePodcast.com. We’ll have a blog up soon but this is where we’ll stay in touch until we take the wraps off our website updates.