About Us

The North Shore Black Bear Society is a non-profit organization. We work in partnership with local and regional governments and other groups involved with black bears and bear attractant issues. Our education program is delivered by Acting Executive Director, Christine Miller, and a team of dedicated volunteers across the North Shore. We support residents, visitors and bears in the District of North Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, and the District of West Vancouver.

Our educational outreach is provided year-round in the following ways:

  • Responding to reports made to us by phone, email and social media regarding black bear, cougar and coyote behaviour and attractant management. The North Shore Black Bear Society has a direct cell line (604 317 4911) which is managed by the Executive Director. Callers who select option #2 on the District of North Vancouver’s Bear Line [604-990-BEAR (2327)] are redirected to the Society’s cell. Messages left for the NSBBS on the District Bear Line are checked each day.
  • Engaging presentations to groups, including general public, elementary schools, Guides and Scouts, summer camps, English language learners, park rangers, specialist outdoor groups, and companies operating in bear habitat.
  • Canvassing neighbourhoods where bear activity has been reported.
  • Proactive canvassing in hotspot communities and community workshops.
  • Placing ‘Bear-in-Area’ signs in the City and District of North Vancouver. West Vancouver Parks place signs in their district.
  • Maintaining a database on black bear, cougar, bobcat and coyote activity on the North Shore.
  • Interactive displays at all major North Shore community events and trailheads.
  • ‘Welcome to Bear Country’ mail-outs to new homeowners on the North Shore.
  • Maintaining a website and creating content for our Social Media platforms (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter).
  • A variety of media opportunities including print, radio, podcast and television interviews and columns published throughout the year.
  • Writing educational bear columns for Pique News Magazine and North Shore Daily Post.

The North Shore Black Bear Society is part of the North Shore Bear Working Group, a bi-monthly meeting of partners working to reduce bear activity in urban environments, including, The BC Conservation Officer Service, the District of North Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver and the District of West Vancouver, Metro Vancouver and RCMP.


The North Shore Black Bear Society hires three part time staff member, Acting Executive Director, Christine Miller. Our board of directors and volunteer team share their time to support the Society’s outreach.


Christine Miller, a former classroom teacher, combined her teaching skills and her desire to  protect bears in the North Shore Black Bear Society’s educational programs for over 15 years. Her desire has remained constant – to stop the preventable deaths of black bears.




Holly was born and raised in Westlynn in North Vancouver, and she and her husband Henry raised their three children in Seymour, where she still resides.  “Having grown up seeing black bears regularly in our backyard, and having had many more encounters around our home and on the trails in North Vancouver, I have never lost the magical feeling of awe they and our other wildlife inspire.  I am honoured to be able to help North Shore residents learn about the true nature of these beautiful animals, so we can live together peacefully.”




Kirstin is a long term North Vancouver resident and a passionate bear educator!   She worked for BC parks as an interpreter in her earlier years as well as various environmental education roles before she went on to become an elementary school teacher. She has since retired from teaching, but continues to enjoy talking about all things ‘bear’ with school groups and the general public. She believes strongly in the NSBBS and all the work that has been done on the North Shore to protect our lovely bears.


Tom Saare is a retired instructor from BCIT’s Fish, Wildlife and Recreation Program where he specialized in human-wildlife interactions. He has over 23 years experience instructing human-wildlife safety courses to industry clients, educational institutions, community groups and various levels of government.





Jonathan Yasayko (Chair), Tom Saare, Janet Zhu, Tony Webb, Margot Finlay, Viki Ashman, Aaron Featherstone.


The Society relies on a small and dedicated team of volunteers. Our volunteers help us to distribute educational material to homes, assist at community events, enter data and hang wildlife signs in the City and District of North Vancouver. We are extremely grateful to the people who share their time to support the coexistence of humans and bears. The demands on our small non-profit are growing each year and we aim to further expand our volunteer team in 2022.

We would like to express our gratitude to Tony and Michelle for sharing their knowledge of bears and ethically taken photographs and videos with the North Shore Black Bear Society. Their images have helped us to increase engagement and awareness and we are endlessly grateful for their support and friendship.


The North Shore Black Bear Network was formed in 1999 after 39 bears were killed, and its goal was to reduce the number of black bears killed on the North Shore. The Network was successful in its efforts to raise awareness of bear attractant management and increase understanding of bear behaviour and was successful in encouraging residents to work to reduce bear deaths.

In 2005, the Network volunteers from the North Shore formed the North Shore Black Bear Society to provide a unified voice for the local volunteers and to allow liability insurance to be purchased for those who are involved in educating and advising residents. The Society’s Board of Directors continues to meet bi-monthly, to provide direction to the Society and its Executive Director

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