The Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative (KVRI) held their monthly meeting on July 20 at the Boundary County Extension Office. The agenda held its usual committee updates and local project presentations and even drew in the usual attending crowd, but this meeting was anything but "usual." All attendees were greeted at the door by a 600 pound grizzly bear!
The grizzly bear mount will be an educational tool for public outreach. With the help of Steve McNulty, KVRI had applied and received funding through a grant offered by TransCanada, one of the continent's largest providers of gas storage and related services.
Kirk, as the bear was named by British Columbia authorities, met his demise when he unintentionally came upon garbage tossed into a compost pile in the backyard of a Salmo, British Columbia resident where he was shot and killed in the fall of 2007. Instead of contacting local B.C. authorities, the resident and some friends posed with the bear and posted the pictures to the Internet. Once the authorities discovered the photos, they took appropriate actions and the resident was served with several citations. Upon hearing of the incident in BC, Wayne Wakkinen, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, contacted the BC authorities and asked if the KVRI could use the hide for a grizzly bear mount they planned to use for education and outreach. Wayne thought this was a good candidate because he was a local bear and did have sanitation issues behind his mortality.
In honor of the newly acquired grizzly bear mount, the KVRI group celebrated and recognized the many hands that helped make it possible. The folks KVRI group wishes to thank include: TransCanada and Steve McNulty for providing funding, BC authorities for helping skin the bear and the donation of the bear hide, John Thomas for all his taxidermy work and donation of labor to complete the mount and the Kootenai Tribe of Idaho for the grant writing, which secured the funding. Of course, it wouldn't be a celebration without a little cake! Carrot Cake was served to everyone as they walked up and admired the new grizzly bear and had any questions answered.
Additionally, Phil Allegretti shared information on Mosquito Abatement and his work with the County and Panhandle Health District. He traps the insects so they can be tested for the West Nile Virus. To date there have been no positive test results in the county. Thanks to Phil for his hard work!
KVRI meetings are held every third Monday of the month at the Boundary County Extension Office. The next meeting will be held on August 17 at 7pm. Anyone who is interested is welcome and encouraged to come and participate. For more information on Kootenai Valley Resource Initiative please visit www.kootenai.org
, or contact Patty Perry at 267-3519.