Prior to its reopening in 2006, toxic compounds were used in everything from lawn care to building maintenance at Grizzly Bear Ranch. Since taking over we have reversed these policies and enacted a series of measures to steadily turn our lodge into a model eco-facility.
We have also installed two sets of solar panels so that the ranch now runs entirely from renewable energy for most of the year.
We have introduced trekking, forest walks, scenic rafting, wildlife-viewing and mountain tours. We only drive in the wilderness on existing logging and mining trails. Once we reach the alpine, we hike. We have a draconian no-litter policy in place for our activities.
Regarding wildlife, our aim is not to get as close as possible but to view these animals, particularly bears, from suitable distances. We take our guests to view ancient stands of remarkable cedar and encourage them to carry home a message that such natural treasures should be preserved.
On the construction front, in our latest cabins we have installed high-efficiency on-demand water heaters. The body of the renovation was carried out using local wood and the finishing used organic products. We have invested in new high-efficiency appliances. We are off-grid and we conserve power using a large battery bank. All our light bulbs are CF or LED. Our lawn maintenance is organic.
We do not offer guests bottled water but provide water from our well. All our showers are fitted with low-flow heads. Of the food we serve more than 80 percent is organic. We grow 11 kinds of salads, many herbs, onions, garlic and other vegetables in a fully-organic manner.
Grizzly Bear Ranch is run by a husband-and-wife team that is dedicated to the welfare of their valley. We try to use the various skills of the families living in our remote valley, whether as carpenters, mechanics, guides or in other capacities.
When guests arrive at the ranch, they are given an informal introduction to the local area and it’s position within British Columbia and Canada. We hold a talk on wilderness safety and minimising environmental impact and also use the eco-friendly measures we have taken at the ranch to showcase a more responsible way of living.
Grizzly Bear Ranch operates in a remote part of southern BC with high unemployment and few non-winter tourist facilities. We have committed to buy all our groceries and the vast majority of our non-grocery supplies from local retailers eschewing the economies in price that could be gained from shopping further afield.
We are a strong supporter of our local village store. We buy almost all our greens direct from local farmers. For more difficult-to-find items we shop in the nearest small town to support the economy there. More than 80 percent of all food and drink that we serve is grown or produced in British Columbia. For building and industrial supplies we use the nearest large town to us.
We also encourage our guests to make use of local businesses and other tourist-related facilities in the area. On a more general level we have endeavoured to show that wildlife-viewing and wilderness walks and treks can provide an alternative revenue stream in this area.