Thank you to the District of Sparwood for facilitating the acquisition of bear resistant dumpsters for the Causeway Bay Hotel and thank you to all Sparwood residents who have bear proofed their properties and are keeping garbage indoors until the day of collection.
The Bylaw Officer and WildSafeBC conducted an evening patrol in Sparwood Heights and the Elk Valley Mobile Home Park last night checking for garbage out on the curb the night before collection which is a bear attractant. Six written warnings and one verbal warning were issued.
Keeping garbage indoors and inaccessible to wildlife and securing attractants is the best way to keep wildlife wild, communities safe and prevent the needless destruction of bears.
Monday August 22. A cougar sighting was reported by residents on Ridgemont Lane late at night over the weekend. The cougar was in the wooded area that runs parallel to the residential area.
Cougars are wide ranging animals and may show up in urban settings from time to time. If they are passing through it is important they do not find food that may encourage them to stay. Many urban incidents occur with young cougars that have not yet learned how to hunt effectively or older animals that can no longer hunt in the wilds.
- Feed pets indoors and keep pets indoors, especially at night. Cats and small dogs that are left to free-range, hunt small birds and rodents and, in turn, become prey themselves.
- Never feed deer or other possible prey species for cougars. While deer may be pleasant to watch, they can attract large predators such as cougars into residential neighborhoods. As well, urban deer present their own set of problems to you and your neighbors.
- Cougars are most active during the period from dusk until dawn
If you encounter a Cougar
- STAY CALM, DO NOT RUN, MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT
- Pick up small children and small pets
- Let the Cougar know you are human-NOT prey
- Make yourself as large and as mean as possible
- Use your voice in a loud and assertive manner
- Back away slowly. Never turn your back on wildlife
- If the Cougar attacks, fight back with everything that you’ve got, it is a predatory attack
Never Approach or Feed Wildlife
Report human/wildlife conflict to 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on cell.
Thursday August 18. A bear sighting was reported yesterday on Sideewinder trail in Fernie just above the Ridgemont subdivision. A bear with cubs was reported by the disc golf course in Sparwood the last few days.
Bears, like people, will choose the path of least resistance. Expect to encounter bears on trails and in recreational areas which often lead right into residential areas. Help keep our bears wild, lock up your garbage, clean your fruit trees and secure all bear attractants. Help your neighbours do the same, the end result will benefit everyone and help prevent the needless destrution of bears.
There have been very few reports of human/bear conflict the last few months. This is quite typical, especially when berries and natural food sources are plentiful. A bear can consume up to 100 000 berries in a day. As we approach the fall, berry crops dry up and bears will travel great distances for food. Bears are natural scavengers, have great memories, a keen sense of smell and will remember an easy food source.
Carelessly stored garbage and apple trees are the root causes of bear human conflict in BC and are an open invitation for bears. In 2015 the number of bear encounters reported to the Conservation Officer Service went from 450 in early August, to over 800 by September 1st and peaked at just over 1200 by the end of September.
Please take some time to bear-proof your property, ensure garbage is kept indoors until collection day and make a plan to clean up apple trees. Apple trees in bear country are a huge responsibility and can be a lot of work, but don’t despair, there are solutions! If you or someone you know have an apple tree that’s too much to manage and can potentially lure bears into the neighborhood there is a group of volunteers available to assist you with harvesting and disposing of apples. Contact Rachel Dortman: 250-423-8665, email: email@example.com or Elk Valley Homesteading on Facebook.
Wildsight’s apple capture program has fruit picking and tree pruning equipment and an apple press available to borrow. You can also share your harvest. Contact Wildsight on 250-423-3322, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.wildsight.ca for more information.
A community map of properties with apple trees has been updated. A leaflet with apple tree management tips and resources have been delivered to Fernie properties with apple trees. Thank you for helping your family, friends and neighbours with bear-proofing your neighborhood. Let’s work together to ensure that our community remains safe for both wildlife and people.
Monday August 15. A bear was seen on Project 9 trail in the meadow just before the power line earlier this morning. A mountain biker came around a corner on Happy Gilmar trail and saw a bear lying on the trail a few days ago. He was able to stop in time to avoid the collision and back away.
Make noise to warn wildlife of your presence and always be alert. For more information go to www.WildSafeBC.com
Thank you to the Fernie Library and everyone volunteering and participating in this amazing event. It was great to see many kids dropping by our booth to learn about wildlife so much energy and amazing entertainment all around.
A radio collared grizzly bear from Kananaskis in Alberta has been seen just south of Elkford by the industrial area. The 4 year old grizzly was fitted with a radio collar on site in Kananaskis and has made his way to the Elk Valley. Another grizzly bear has been reported by Deerbourne Crescent.
Let’s work together to ensure these grizzly bears stay wild and communities remain safe.
At home: Keep all garbage stored securely indoors until you dispose of it responsibly. There is no curb-side garbage collection at F.A.R. Household garbage must be disposed of at the communal bear resistant dumpsters located in parking lot four at F.A.R. Please ensure that this area is kept clean and odor free. Littering in and around this area will attract wildlife and cause conflicts with local residents, visitors and their pets. Avoid using bird feeders during bear season and manage your fruit trees, compost and other attractants responsibly.
Hiking and Biking: Make noise to warn wildlife of your presence, watch for fresh signs of wildlife activity, travel in groups in daylight, do not litter and carry bear spray and know how to use it. If you meet a bear, back away slowly and leave. Do not run. Give the bear space to escape. Never feed or approach wildlife.
Please report wildlife sightings and incidents to the Ministry of Environment 24-hour hotline at 1-877-952-7277. This allows officers to identify current hot spot locations and work with both residents and bears to encourage use of natural habitats and food sources before the bear becomes habituated and/or a safety concern.
For more information on keeping communities’ safe and wildlife wild please visit www.wildsafebc.com, or follow u
Tuesday August 9. A moose and calf were seen at the top of Project 9 trail in Fernie. Grizzly bear sighing’s reported on Aspen Crescent and behind the houses on Boivin Creek between Fording and Needles Crescent. M
oose are wild animals and need to be given space and privacy. Stay safe by keeping an appropriate distance. Use caution when walking dogs, keep them under voice control and/or leash. Dogs chasing wildlife may result in human/wildlife conflict.
Going for a bike ride? Be prepared and know how to respond to a bear encounter and know how to use bear spray.
Tuesday August 2. A grizzly bear has been seen on Alpine Way (the gravel road that leads to David and Douglas Crescent) the last few days. This is a popular area for walking dogs. Remember to keep your dogs under voice and/or leash control. Dogs chasing wildlife may provoke defensive behaviour in bears.
For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict go to www.wildsafebc.com