Grizzly bears have been seen throughout Elkford, black bears on Pine Crescent in Fernie and cougars in Sparwood. Wildfires are driving wildlife into our communities. There is a lot of discussion about providing water or food to wildlife displaced by wildfires.
Wildfire and wildlife populations have evolved together over hundreds of thousands of years. We need to step back and allow natural systems to sort themselves out. Putting water out is providing an attractant and another reason for wildlife to stop and to stay in a neighbourhood – this is not safe for anyone in the neighbourhood and could ultimately lead to the destruction of the very wildlife that one is trying to help.
Displaced wildlife will seek out and find new areas that are suitable for them. Interfering with this natural process, while well-meaning is short-sighted and can lead to long term issues. Removing attractants is the only proven effective way to keep people safe and wildlife wild.