In this photo which appeared in The Free Press in January 2019, a bear can be seen at Olsen Pit. Due to its proximity to humans, Lamb had suggested that open pit be shut down. Photo courtesy of Clayton Lamb

MOTI constructs enclosed carcass pits in effort to solve attractant issue

The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI) has developed enclosed carcass collection facilities along Highway 3 in an effort to reduce human-wildlife conflicts.

This comes eight months after The Free Press first reported the relationship between the use of carcass pits and a spike in human-wildlife conflicts.

In January 2019, The Free Press reported that in 2018, there were 38 calls out of Jaffray regarding bear conflicts, as compared to almost no calls in 2017. This prompted a public meeting in Jaffray which was attended by close to 200 people.

Previously, the current method of roadkill disposal was to dump the carcasses in designated pits. The Ministry of Transport allowed highway contractor Mainroad to dispose of roadkill in this manner.

Year round, carcasses were being dropped at several pits around the Valley, one of which was close to Jaffray and residential properties. Tracking data collected by scientists showed grizzly bears using those pits and sleeping near them as well.

Wildlife biologist Clayton Lamb said in January that the continued use of carcass pits in the South Country was driving an increase in bear traffic.

Look back: VIDEO: Carcass pits, rural attractants contribute to Jaffray bear conflict: biologist

On September 19, MOTI announced the construction of enclosed carcass collection facilities along Highway 3. A Ministry spokesperson explained that this came after a request by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources and Rural Development to assist in managing bear activity in the area.

“The facilities are made of concrete lock blocks and surrounded by electric fencing,” said MOTI in a an email. “The facilities are designed to keep bears and other scavenging animals away from the wildlife carcasses.”

According to MOTI, the first facility at Elko is now operational, and a location east of Sparwood is in the pre-construction phase. A third facility is also in development for the Yahk area along Highway 3, and is pending provincial funding.

Kootenay East MLA Tom Shypitka said he was impressed by the initiatives by MOTI to try and solve this problem.

“I’ve just got to hand it to the Ministry of Transportation for taking it on themselves more than anything, just to come up with something, some kind of solution to this,” said Shypitka.

“They definitely are trying to be proactive instead of reactive with this kind of thing,” he added. “It’s cool, hopefully it works.”

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

Just Posted

A health-care worker prepares to swab a man at a walk-in COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal North, Sunday, May 10, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes)
Interior Health records 21 new COVID-19 cases over the weekend

Thirty-six cases remain active; two people are in the hospital, one of whom is in intensive care

STA members and non-members alike are encouraged to send in photos of their trail adventures. (Photo contributed by Scott Tibballs)
Sparwood Trails Alliance fundraises for Lunch Loop

Trail adventurers are invited to submit photos of their adventures for an STA calendar

BC ELECTION
Voters hit the polls early

17 per cent of Kootenay East voters have already voted, with four days to go until the election

File photo
Main Roads warns of snow over weekend

It’s expected to snow in most areas covered by the East Kootenay Service Area

Tom Shypitka, Wayne Stetski, Kerri Wall and moderator Thomas Skelton at the Oct. 15 Elk Valley all-candidates forum. (Source: zoom)
At a glance: Kootenay East candidates go head-to-head in Elk Valley forum

Shypitka, Stetski and Wall called in to the zoom forum to talk all things Elk Valley

Working smoothly together on May 11, 2020, health minister Adrian Dix, B.C. Liberal health critic Norm Letnick, provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and sign language interpreter Nigel Howard. (B.C. government video)
COVID-19 co-operation a casualty of B.C.’s pandemic election

NDP’s Horgan weaponizes senior care, B.C. Liberal Wilkinson calls for ‘wartime economy’

Touchstones Museum has opened up Nelson’s Cold War bunker to the public. The unique exhibit includes artifacts from the 1950s and 60s. Photo: Tyler Harper
Take cover! Cold War bunker opens to public in Nelson

The shelter was built in 1964 in case of nuclear fallout

A bear similar to this black bear is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich on Oct. 19. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island residents warned to watch livestock, pets after bear kills llama

Officers could not track the bear they feel may not fear humans

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

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

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

Three years ago, Larry Plummer challenged himself to hike up to the flag viewpoint on the Montrose Antenna trail 1,000 times. Photo: Gordon McAlpine
Senior celebrates 500th hike up Kootenay trail

Larry Plummer began his quest to complete 1,000th hike up Antenna Trail just over three years ago

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Most Read