The Alberta government announced on Tuesday that problem grizzly bears can now be hunted.

While they're not calling it a grizzly hunt, hunters can apply online much like they would for a license and draw for other game like elk, deer or moose.

The provincial government is looking for "wildlife management responders" to deal with the issue of grizzlies that are growing in population and creating more conflicts between humans and livestock.

Once Alberta hunters apply online through AlbertaRELM only those selected will be contacted to complete the application. These select hunters will then be called upon to deal with problem grizzlies or other wildlife such as elk.

Grizzlies haven't been hunted since 2006 when the government put a stop to it, and by 2010 they were listed as a threatened species in the province.

However, recently human and livestock interactions with grizzlies have increased.

According to the government, in 2023 and 2024 there were 120 head of livestock killed by either grizzly or black bears. Ranchers were compensated under the Wildlife Predator Compensation Program to the tune of $153,649.00 and $13.3 million in crop losses.

The latest numbers show that grizzly bears have increased from approximately 800 to more than 1,150.

In the news release sent out by the provincial government the Ministers of Forestry and Parks and Agriculture and Irrigation offered up their thoughts.

“The loss of even one human life because of a grizzly bear attack is one too many. We are taking a proactive approach to help Albertans co-exist with wildlife through our new wildlife management program. These changes demonstrate our commitment to ensuring Albertans can safely work and recreate throughout the province.”

Todd Loewen, Minister, Forestry and Parks 

“Losses suffered due to predation can be a significant blow to ranchers and farmers. This new program will reduce the number of losses, protect farms, and help producers avoid conflicts with wildlife.”

RJ Sigurdson, Minister, Agriculture and Irrigation and Highwood MLA

The move has seen criticism from environmental groups and the Alberta NDP.

Opposition Critic for Environment, Parks, and Tourism, Sarah Elmeligi, posted a response calling for the regulation to be struck.