The Wildlife Act prohibits attracting animals with unsecured attractants. File Photo

Garbage attracts bears to residential streets

WildSafe BC reminds residents to keep animal attractants inaccessible to wildlife

Garbage kept outdoors between collection days continues to attract bears into the Elk Valley and South Country Communities.

There have been reports of bears accessing garbage throughout our communities in the past few weeks. Keeping garbage indoors and inaccessible to bears is the most effective way to keep people safe, prevent property damage and avoid the unnecessary killing of bears that come into conflict with people. Also be reminded that it is an offence under the BC Wildlife Act to attract dangerous animals (bears, wolves, cougars and coyotes) to your property with unsecured attractants (garbage, pet food, bird feeders, fruit trees).

The Wildlife Act states that:

(1) A person must not (a) intentionally feed or attempt to feed dangerous wildlife or, (b) provide, leave or place an attractant in, on or about any land or premises with the intent of attracting dangerous wildlife.

(2) A person must not leave or place an attractant in, on or about any land or premises where there are or where there are likely to be people, in a way the attractant could (a) attract dangerous wildlife to the land or premises and be accessible to dangerous wildlife.

Depending on where you live there are different options for disposing of garbage responsibly. Sparwood has provided residents with certified bear resistant containers. The containers are reinforced with metal and secured with latches. They are not bear proof but do provide an additional barrier to prevent bears breaking into them as long as the latches on the containers are kept locked between collection days. As an additional precaution we recommend that containers be kept indoors between collection days if possible.

Fernie recently upgraded to an automated garbage collection system with residential wildlife resistant roll out carts fitted with a gravity locking system. The carts have kept dogs, crows and small animals out as they will not open when knocked over, but they are not bear resistant. The gravity locking system has reduced the amount of garbage and wind strewn litter accessible to wildlife on garbage day, but they must be kept indoors between collection days. If you miss garbage day or don’t have anywhere secure to store garbage, you have options. Garbage can be taken to the transfer station or to the bear resistant community dumpsters that are available 24/7 free of charge at City Hall, the Aquatic Centre, the Fernie Memorial Arena or the Max Turyk Community Centre.

South Country communities and Fernie Alpine Resort do not have curb side collection and garbage must be taken to the local transfer station or communal dumpsters. Please ensure that these areas are kept clean and odor free. Littering in and around these areas will attract wildlife and cause conflicts with local residents, visitors and their pets.

Please use WildSafeBC’s Top 10 Ways to Help Wildlife in order to keep our communities safe and wildlife wild:

1. Keep your garbage secure, store it indoors, in the garbage, or in a bear-resistant enclosure.

2. Only put your garbage/yard waste/recyclables out on collection day, never the night before.

3. Manage your fruit trees so that fruit is picked as it ripens, and no windfall accumulates.

4. Bring bird feeders in from April through November, and when they are out, ensure that the ground underneath is kept free of seeds.

5. Feed pets indoors.

6. Maintain your compost so that it doesn’t smell. Add fruit slowly. Never add meat or other animal products.

7. Protect fruit trees, beehives and small livestock with a properly installed and maintained electric fence.

8. Respect wild animals by not feeding them. Food conditioned wildlife are more likely to come into conflict.

9. Keep barbecues clean and odour free.

10. Report any wildlife in conflict or bear, cougar or wolf sightings in the community to the Conservation Officer Service 24/7 at 1.877.952.7277. These reports are uploaded daily to the WildSafeBC Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) that is available free of charge on our website

Keeping garbage indoors and inaccessible to wildlife between collection days, complying with local bylaws and the BC Wildlife Act, managing fruit trees and bringing in bird feeders during bear season will result in a cleaner and safer community for people and wildlife. Thanks for doing your part and encouraging family, friends and neighbours to do the same.

For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict visit or follow our Facebook page WildSafeBC Elk Valley.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

UPDATE: Fire above Sparwood no threat to community

Mayor David Wilks reported it may be due to an exposed coal seam

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

EKC makes $5,000 donation to Elk Valley ultrasound campaign

The EKC challenged other businesses to help the campaign hit its $300,000 target

City of Fernie to extend pilot snow removal program

Councillors voted unanimously on Sep. 17 to extend the program due to a lack of data points and disruption due to the pandemic

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read