Save Elkford’s white bears

A community action campaign to save the white bears is underway in Elkford.

  • Oct. 28, 2011 7:00 p.m.

A community action campaign to save the white bears is underway in Elkford.  Hosted by the District of Elkford, a meeting attended by District staff, councillors,  Elk Valley Bear Aware Coordinator, Elk Valley RCMP and concerned citizens was held at Council Chambers, Thursday.

“We need to get the message out and get the community involved,” said Chief Administrative Officer Corien Speaker. She said the white bears risk being destroyed if the animals continue to access residential garbage and pose a threat to homeowners.  “We need to encourage those responsible to secure food and garbage.”

Given the current status of the white bear family being habituated in the community since the summer or even early spring, the consensus is to find a quick remedy of removal and relocating the mother, two white cubs and a black cub to another location before winter sets in and without resorting to destroying them. But on hand, there is the dilemma of educating residents to take proactive steps to minimize bear interaction in the community.  However for the program to work and with the help of volunteers, District of Elkford is having a “bear aware” information booth set up at the mall, brochures and posters printed up and a Facebook listing to inform the public of bear awareness and urging all residents to be more diligent and responsible about garbage control and organic waste to reduce the impact of bear contact.

“There’s all kinds of things we could do,” said Speaker.  “If we don’t we are going to lose the bears.”

While the bear family has travelled from north of town to almost every corner of the neighbourhoods, uptown areas of Cherokee Drive, Cariboo Drive and Casino Crescent have been their favourite hangouts.  Why they have chosen that location is not clear. Maybe houses on a hill, grassy knolls, greenbelt or friendly neighbours, but for safety sake, close proximity contact with homeowners is a concern, therefore a campaign to inform the public was initiated to try and resolve the matter.

“We are going to get the kids going door to door to deliver a simple straight forward message,” said Councillor Walter Conibear of the grade six students who will target the residential neighbourhoods where the bear hot spots are. “We are going to try and get people involved and hopefully get them to take care of garbage and edibles.”

As the slogan says: a fed bear is a dead bear. Conibear is hopeful that the public will respond to the campaign efforts and take responsibility and ownership to keep the bears at bay.  In the interim, he wants to have the bears scared off or trapped and relocated by the Conservation Officer.

Likewise, RCMP Richard Christy and Bear Aware Coordinator Jutta Kolhi both agree that residents should report a bear sighting immediately to the Bear Aware 24 hours hotline – 1-877-952-7277 or www.bearware.bc.ca.

 

A follow up meeting is slated for November 1 at 6 p.m. at Council Chambers.

 

 

By Eriki Filipe

Contributor

 

 

Just Posted

Ghostriders show grit and tenacity

Hard work and heartbreak; a reoccurring theme in Fernie’s past two hockey… Continue reading

Fernie Swim team aims for Nationals

Aidan Chudleigh has high hopes for his swim team this year, and… Continue reading

Jaffray Area OCP goes to public hearing

The public hearing will be held November 22nd at 7:00 PM at the Jaffray Community Hall.

Oil dumped illegally at Tie Lake Transfer Station

The Regional District of East Kootenay is searching for any information in… Continue reading

Forecasters promote avalanche safety awareness

Avalanche Canada advising backcountry enthusiasts to get proper training and equipment.

100,000 bulbs shine bright for Lights of Hope

St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver launched its annual campaign to raise funds for equipment, research

Sparwood florist to compete nationally

The Maple Leaf Cup; where art and flower design meet under one… Continue reading

‘I will now live in consistent fear’: Allan Schoenborn granted escorted leaves

The Merritt man was deemed not criminally responsible in the killing of his three children in 2008

Hammy the deer dodges conservation officers in Prince Rupert

The famous Prince Rupert hammock deer maintains his purple threads

‘No shirt, no service, no Canada’

Shirtless Tacoma man arrested after Canadian border officials say they found meth in rental vehicle

Nasty note on B.C. windshield sparks online outrage

Vernon’s Bailey McDonald is using a painful experience to start conversation about invisible illness

Federal funding to combat guns, gangs and opioid crisis

Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale said illicit drugs are often main cause of guns, gangs violence

Riverview youth mental health centre proceeds

Replacement for Maples Treatment Centre first announced in March

Dead boy’s father posts Facebook response after Appeal Court upholds conviction

David, Collet Stephan were found guilty in their son Ezekiel’s 2012 death from bacterial meningitis

Most Read