Bear an cubs seen on the river trail by Dogwood Park in Fernie

Tuesday August 18.  A bear and cubs were seen on the dike trail early this morning by Dogwood park.

The attached graph illustrates the number of calls regarding black bears made to the Conservation Officer Service between 2013 and 2015.  While the 2015 bear season started off relatively normal (compared to the previous two seasons), the number of bear sightings fell right off in May, June and July. Typically, and there are exceptions, our peak season for bear sightings/conflicts is the month of September.

We have analyzed the data in WARP and have produced this graph to show you the relative bear activity for Fernie and the elk Valley from 2013 through until 2015.

Please help ensure that this September is a quiet one by: picking all of your fruit as it ripens and removing any windfalls from your yard; putting your garbage out the morning of collection; and managing all of your other attractants as per our guidelines at pwor graph

Fernie Apple pies feed people not bears!

photo (2)Fernie residents Celia Rocca Matisi and Gisele Kitchen picked Fernie apples to make apple pie to sell as a fundraiser for a Christmas Dinner.   You can buy the pies this week outside Overeatea for $10 between 11 and 5 until Thursday.   The charity dinner will be at the Holy Family Church for seasonal residents that are new to town and don’t have family to spend Christmas with.

Thank you Celia and Gisele for your efforts in cleaning up apple trees and for such a great cause.  Unmanaged apple trees and windfall fruit  along with unsecured garbage are root causes for human/wildlife conflict in BC communities.

Bear sightings update for Elk Valley and South Country

Monday August 17.  Berries are drying up, apples in town are ripening and garbage left outdoors is luring bears into Elk Valley and South Country communities. It is everyone’s responsibility to ensure that wildlife remains wild and communities remain safe.


Bear sightings reported in James White Park, Dike trail by the Coal Creek Boat launch and by the Leroux Mansion, West Fernie Dike trail, Annex Park, Uprooted and Montane trails.


Grizzly bear sightings reported by 3rd Street and Victoria.


Bear sightings reported behind the recreation centre and by the pedestrian bridge between FJ Mitchell School and Matevic road. Cougar sighting reported in the wooded area at the bottom of the new pedestrian bridge.

South Countryorange lawn sign west fernie

Black bear sightings reported in Rosen Lake area.

We sadly don’t have the resources to address every individual that is either by intent or neglect baiting wildlife into our communities. We are hopeful that long-time residents will lead by example and bear-proof their properties and that neighbours will work together to ensure that the neighbourhood is free of wildlife attractants (garbage outside, windfall fruit/apples, dirty BBQ’s etc.). We have new residents, second home owners, tourists and seniors that can benefit from your knowledge, help and experience.

If you need support addressing an issue contact and/or contact the local bylaw officer. All reports will remain anonymous.

Call 1-844-952-7277 to report human/wildlife conflict

Mountain biker surprised a bear at close range on Uprooted trail in Fernie

Friday August 14.  A mountain biker was riding up uprooted trail and surprised a bear at close range as he came around the berm.  The bear ran off a short distance then stood up on it’s hind legs to get a better look and/or scent.  This is normal behaviour as bears are curious by nature.

Remember to  make noise to warn bears of your presence and avoid surprise encounters.

Go to for more information

Cougar sighting on trail between school and Matevic Road in Sparwood

Friday August 14.  A cougar was seen yesterday afternoon on the trail between FJ Mitchell elementary school and Matevic road.

Caution Cougars in 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

  • 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.

cougar kit by meg2

Cougar sighting reported on Fairy Creek trail in Fernie

A cougar was seen on Fairy Creek Trail at 11 am this morning about 1 km up the trail.


 cougar kit by meg2*Be Aware of the wildlife in the area

*Make noise to avoid a surprise encounter (use your human voice)

*Walk in groups

*Carry a walking stick (adults can carry Bear Spray deterrent in a side holster)

*Keep dogs leashed


If you encounter a Cougar:





*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 Sightings to 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on cell

Runner wearing an I Pod surprises bear at close range in James White Park in Fernie

A black bear and cubs and single larger bear have been seen in James White Park the last few days.  On Monday afternoon a runner wearing an I pod surprised a bear at close range on one of the single track trails. The runner was spooked by the bear, tripped ad fell, the bear ran off.

We live in wildlife habitat. Be aware of your surroundings and respectful of the environment. If you observed dangerous wildlife

  • accessing garbage or other human supplied food sources
  • that cannot be scared off
  • a bear, cougar or wolf seen in an urban area

Call the Ministry of Environment 24-hour hotline on 1-877-952-7277. This allows officers to identify current hot spot locations and work with both residents and wildlife to encourage use of natural habitats and food sources before wildlife becomes habituated and/or a safety concern.