Garbage accessible to wildlife continues to result in human/conflict in Fernie.

A brown colored black bear had to be trapped and destroyed in Ridgemont last week. The bear was initially just passing through back yards. This then escalated into conflict once the bear had easy access to food (garbage) left in backyards, on porches and under carports. This eventually led him to front porches and pushing through open windows potentially attempting to get into homes. Not a safe situation for people or bears. The removal of this bear doesn’t solve the problem, it simply opens up a niche for another one to move in as long as the garbage is around.

Here are the current options for the storage of garbage in Fernie.

 Keep garbage in a garage, shed or indoors between collection days.
 Smelly waste can be taken to the transfer station between collection days or put smelly items in a large Ziploc freezer bag and freeze the smelly stuff (fish, chicken) and then dispose of it on garbage day
 We have a manual garbage collection system in Fernie, therefore the large bear resistant cans with the latches are oversize and overweight for the garbage collector to lift and dump as per WCB. Unfortunately regulations also prevent the garbage collector to open the oversize can and pull out the garbage bags inside.
 The Tydee bin is a good option for outdoor storage of garbage in Fernie, go to http://www.bearaware.bc.ca/?q=conflict-prevention/bear-resistant-bins for details.
 I will be receiving an electrified residential size bear resistant container next week for testing. stay tuned for details.
 If you see a bear on your property let him know he is not welcome. Make noise, bang pots and pans together, use an air horn or other noise maker to scare him off if you feel it is safe to do so. Once the bear leaves double check to make sure there is nothing left out (food, garbage, birdfeeder, dirty BBQ, pet food) to attract him.
 Talk to your neighbours, new residents, families and friends and lets all work together to keep our neighborhoods safe for wildlife and people and prevent the needless destruction of wildlife.

Surrounded by mountains, forests and waterways, Fernie is situated in a spectacular location appealing to both people and wildlife. Be prepared and expect to encounter wildlife anytime and remember that food provided by humans can entice animals and their predators into the community, compromising safety for wildlife and people.
White bears Kristy Anonson 9
For more information on preventing wildlife/human conflict go to www.wildsafebc.com.