The Bella Coola Grizzly
by British Columbia Conservation Officers
Justin Bell and Joel Kline
In the remote central coast of British Columbia lies the rugged, yet beautiful, Bella Coola Valley with a population of approximately 2,000 people. In recent years the Bella Coola Valley has received the attention of adventurers around the world for its renowned helicopter skiing, but each year when the ski season draws to an end the valley’s bear population comes to life. Since the last full-time CO (Conservation Officer) transferred out of Bella Coola in 2006 the community and valley receives its game warden service from the Cariboo-Chilcotin Zone of the Conservation Officer Service. When a CO response is necessary due to human wildlife conflict, enforcement, or general proactive patrols the responding officers are frequently pulled from Williams Lake, Quesnel, and 100 Mile alike. Bella Coola is a 5.5 hour drive from Williams Lake on a good day with limited amenities along the drive.