A design that pairs a salmon with a coastal brown bear has been selected as the winner in Katmai National Park's 2017 Brooks Camp Bear Pin Design Competition.
The selected design was submitted by Ashlie Anderson of Naknek, Alaska.
“I am so grateful that my design has been selected for the 2017 Katmai bear pin. I am truly inspired by my beautiful backyard and all of the creatures that reside here alongside us," Ms. Anderson said. "I live in an awesome place that takes my breath away daily. Thank you Katmai National Park and Preserve for the opportunity to be involved in such an amazing event.”
Ms. Anderson’s design was chosen from among a pool of submissions drawn from members of the local community. Holding a public competition for the 2017 bear pins was a first in the history of the 20-plus-year-old Brooks Bear Etiquette Program.
“I envision this year’s bear pin competition as just one of the many ways that Katmai National Park can involve the local community,” said Cathy Bell, the park's chief of interpretation and education. “We are planning community events, potlucks, and other programs for the future, and we’ll make sure to get the word out.”
A bear pin is awarded to any visitor who completes the mandatory bear etiquette training upon their first visit to Brooks Camp in a summer. The pin serves as a reminder of their training to each visitor and is a visual confirmation to park staff that they have been trained. A limited edition, full-color bear booster pin is also awarded to visitors who exhibit especially responsible behavior around the bears.
Over the years, the bear pin program has expanded with increasing visitation. The pins have become popular collector’s items. More than 10,000 visitors were awarded pins last season.