RBAS (Revelstoke Bear Aware Society) not only educates its community but also pioneered changes in policy, fostered partnerships, and cultivated a sense of shared responsibility reshaping the landscape of bear-human interactions.
Creating Harmony: How Revelstoke Bear Aware Society Transformed Bear-Human Interactions
A volunteer-run organization, hired Maggie as a Community Coordinator and Strategic lead and, embarked on a transformative quest to educate, advocate, and strategize for a safer and more harmonious relationship between the local community and its wild bear neighbors.
RBAS faced the challenge of educating the community about human-bear interactions to minimize bear mortality and conflict. Their aim was to change human behaviour and create an environment where bears can coexist safely with the community. As a volunteer-run organization, they needed to establish effective communication strategies, strengthen their financial stability, and advocate for policy changes to achieve their mission.
RBAS aimed to become a lead collaborator among community partners and increase its financial stability through a fund development plan. They aimed to create a strong governance framework, ensure succession planning, and strengthen their presence in the community.
Strategy and Execution
To achieve their goals, Maggie led the role and implemented a multi-faceted strategy. She developed a communications strategy that promoted RBAS messages through community education programs for adults and children. This involved leveraging social media, educational events, and workshops to increase awareness. She also prioritized fostering genuine connections with stakeholders, collaborating with partners, and advocating for policy changes at both the municipal and provincial levels.
Financial stability was achieved through fundraising, grant writing, and donor management. A fund development plan was established to secure grant-based and private donations. She led the creation of a board-run events committee and successfully organized fundraising events and initiatives. Additionally, she also led the creation of enhanced governance and succession planning by establishing a governance framework and board-run committee, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and creating succession plans for the board and leadership positions.
As a result of these strategic efforts, RBAS achieved significant impact within the community. Their education programs led to increased awareness about bear safety and reduced human-bear conflicts (from 26 bears being killed per year down to 6). Maggie successfully advocated for policy changes at both municipal and provincial levels, resulting in improved wildlife attraction management with the community and conservation officers being stationed closer to the community.
RBAS also achieved financial stability through successful fundraising and grant acquisition, ensuring the sustainability of their programs. Their strategic planning partner survey revealed RBAS’s strong reputation and positive relationships with partners and stakeholders with Maggie at the lead.
The most significant achievement of RBAS’s strategic approach was the creation of a safer environment for both bears and the community. By changing human behaviour and advocating for policy changes, RBAS successfully reduced bear mortality and increased community awareness about bear safety. The successful implementation of their strategic plan showcased RBAS as a pillar in the community, highly regarded by partners and stakeholders alike.
This case study exemplifies RBAS’s dedication to bear conservation, effective community education, and strategic planning, resulting in a safer and harmonious coexistence between bears and the community in Revelstoke.
KIND WORDS FROM THE CLIENT
“Maggie is professional, confident, enthusiastic and resilient. As the Community Coordinator working under contract to Revelstoke Bear Aware, she is always a constructive member of the team and continually exceeds the expectations of the board. She is a pleasure to work with. “
– Steve Kent, President,
Revelstoke BEar AWare Society