Bears and cougars coming into conflict with people throughout the Elk Valley

garbage kills bearsMore people living, visiting and recreating in the Elk Valley will result in a potential increase in wildlife/human conflict. We must all work together to ensure we are not bating wildlife into our backyards with garbage and other attractants. When out on the trails, make noise to warn wildlife and other trail users of your presence, do not litter and carry bear spray. Helping your family, friends and neighbours to do the same will result in a safer community for wildlife and people.

Recent Wildlife sightings


Two mountain bikers used were chased by black bear and her cubs on Coal discovery Trail and a large black bear was reported on Ecoterrorist trail in Ridgemont. Cougar sighting reported in a backyard on Ridgemont Drive and bears reported accessing unsecured garbage on Brickers Rd.

Grizzly bear reported on Matevic Road and black bear sightings on Pine Avenue, Mountain View Mobile Home Park and by the pedestrian bridge by the railway.

Black bear and 2 cubs reported by the Welcome to the District of Elkford sign.

A cougar was reported stalking a hitchhiker.

For more information on keeping wildlife wild and communities safe visit If you are involved in an incident with wildlife please call the Conservation Officer Hotline on 1-877-952-7277.


Bear Season is Here, bears seen on Parkland Terrace in Fernie


Spring is the best opportunity we have to prevent bears from learning bad habits by ensuring that our properties are free of attractants (unsecured garbage, dirty BBQ’s and bird feeders).   If bears get the upper hand early by feeding in our back yards, it will be hard to make them wild again.

After a long cold winter and high snow pack bears are just starting to emerge from their dens and will move great distances in search of newly greening plant growth, carcasses melting out of the snow, or other potential food sources. Residents living in bear country should also start the spring by assessing their yard to identify and remove any potential attractants.  Bears are frequently drawn into residential neighborhoods by the promise of garbage and other attractants.

A white female problem bear that we created with accessible garbage was trapped in Elkford and relocated.

Friday August 7. This white bear has been relocated because she is unique. If she was black, brown or cinnamon and posing a threat to human safety she would have to be killed. She has learned that garbage is food and has been moved to new habitat where there will be other dominant bears.
Hopefully she has the skills to feed and survive. It is very likely that she will make her way back into other communities, maybe even back to Elkford. She is tagged so she can be identified. The removal (whether death or relocation) of this young white female bear is not a solution. “Elkford still has a garbage problem that is creating problem bears.”
Elk Valley bears have a reliable source of food in the form of accessible garbage. Once black bears learn to feed in garbage, become bolder and pose a threat to public safety, they are killed. A garbage can sitting on your deck next to the door is an opportunity for a bear to walk right into your house!
Relocating or killing bears is not a solution, it simply opens up a niche for other bears to move in and feed on garbage. As long as there is garbage the bears will keep coming for more. For information on bear proofing your home and keeping your family safe and our bears wild visit

Mama bear and 5 cubs seen across the river from a Fernie Park

Monday June 11.  A bear and 5 cubs were seen accross the river from the Annex Park.  It’s up to us to ensure that these bears get to survive.  Work with your neighbours to bear proof our community.  Help seniors with their garbage, explain to newcomers how garbage attracts wildlife to the community and jeopardizes everyone’s safety including our wildlife, refer them to or follow us on facebook Elk Valley Bear Aware.

White and Cinamon bears seen at the base of the Wapiti ski Area in Elkford

ImageThursday May 31.  A white and a cinamon colored bear were seen at the base of the Wapiti Ski Area in Elkford.  Help us keep these bears wild and alive, keep all garbage indoors between collection days, bring in bird feeders and clean your BBQ’s after each use.  If you are out hiking make noise to warn bears of your presence, travel in groups.  If you meet s bear, stop, back away slowly, do not run.  Leave the bear space to escape