Be aware, bears are out

The main cause of human-wildlife conflicts in BC is access to non-natural food sources.

Ministry of Environment

With bears seeking out non-natural food sources, Environment Minister Terry Lake is spreading the word to British Columbians to do what they can to control bear attractants and reduce conflicts with bears.

The main cause of human-wildlife conflicts in B.C. is access to non-natural food sources. Bears that learn how to get at exposed pet food, ripe fruit, improperly stored garbage, dirty barbecues or composts become conditioned and will continue to return to the area.

British Columbians are encouraged to prevent human-bear conflicts by adopting the following practices:

* Keep garbage secured in a bear-resistant container or in the house, garage or shed until pick-up day and return the containers to the secure site once they are emptied.

* Pick ripe and fallen fruit daily and remove any unused fruit trees.

* Use bird feeders only in winter.

* Keep the ground free of seeds and nuts.

* Clean the barbecue grill after each use, and store it in a secure area.

* Bring pet food dishes inside and store the pet food inside.

* Do not add meat products or uncooked food to compost. Turn it regularly and keep it covered.

* If residents spot a bear, they are advised to remain calm, keep away from the bear and bring children and pets indoors, if possible.

* People should never approach a bear and should not run from it, as bears can move very quickly.

* Once a bear has left the area, residents should check their yards to ensure no attractants are available.

The Conservation Officer Service (COS) is the primary responder to human-wildlife conflicts where there is a risk to public safety, conservation concerns or where significant property damage has occurred. Recent changes to the Wildlife Act give Conservation Officers the ability to issue a $230 ticket or notice for a court appearance to residents who do not secure attractants. Residents who intentionally leave out items that attract dangerous wildlife could also be issued a Dangerous Wildlife Protection Order. Failure to comply with an order carries a $575 fine.

In communities where attractants are managed properly, there has been a decline in related human-bear conflict and the number of bears that have to be destroyed.

In 2011-12, the COS received approximately 37,500 calls regarding human-wildlife conflicts. Of those calls, approximately 23,800 involved human-bear conflicts. Over the past five years in B.C., an average of 600 black bears have been destroyed each year, while 93 were relocated.

Bear Aware is an educational program managed by the British Columbia Conservation Foundation that is designed to prevent and reduce conflicts between people and bears. Last month, the Province announced that it is investing $225,000 toward Bear Aware to bring the program to more communities throughout B.C. over the next year.

In areas with high incidences of human-bear conflict, residents can learnmore about avoiding conflict by talking to their local Bear Aware Community Co-ordinator.

The public is encouraged to report human-wildlife conflicts that threaten public safety or result in significant property damage by calling the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line, toll-free at 1 877 952-7277 (RAPP), or visit the RAPP website at: www.rapp.bc.ca

More information about how to be Bear Aware can be found at:www.bearaware.bc.ca

For more information on bears, human-bear conflicts, and the criteria necessary to reach “Bear Smart” status, visit:www.env.gov.bc.ca/wld/bearsmart/bearsmintro.html

 

Just Posted

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

(TNRD Library)
Let the mystery of the Summer Reading Club begin

Are you ready to ‘Crack the Case’ at the Barriere Library?

(Metro Creative photo)
Gardeners of all ages invited to enter 2021 NT Fall Fair contests

The North Thompson Fall Fair Drive Thru scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 4,… Continue reading

Milsom Lodge was built in the East Barriere Valley when the Milsom brothers purchased two parcels of land in 1911, DL 2323 and DL2324. (Milsom’s photo)
The Milsom Lodge: The mansion, the ballroom, the history

“At the turn of the century, when so many families were leaving… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read