RDEK wrestling with wildlife carcass disposal

Board votes down motion to dispose wildlife carcasses in Sparwood landfill

A motion to dispose wildlife carcasses at a landfill in Sparwood was defeated during an RDEK board meeting last week in Cranbrook.

Fernie mayor Angie Qualizza tabled the motion, which would have directed the regional government to apply to the Ministry of Environment for a permit to use a Sparwood landfill for carcass disposal.

“For me, it’s about getting carcasses off the landscape and this motion isn’t suggesting that we’re going to put them into Sparwood’s dump,” said Qualizza, “it’s opening up a further discussion and review, if we do that, how can it be safe for the community?”

The motion was brought forward following concerns about carcass disposal attracting bears in the South Country and Elk Valley areas.

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

The current method of roadkill disposal is to dump the carcasses in designated gravel pits. The Ministry of Transportation (MOT) allows highway contractor Mainroad to dispose of roadkill in this manner.

Carcasses are currently dumped at locations near Fort Steele, Elko and Hosmer, according to the RDEK.

A $25 tipping fee was recently waived to dispose carcasses at the Central Subregion Landfill 12 kilometres north of Cranbrook.

However, Qualizza’s motion caused pushback from other Elk Valley officials, who were concerned about site security at the Sparwood landfill and its proximity to the community.

“The challenge that we have is that just brings the bears that much closer; they’re still there. They just haven’t broken into the landfill that’s all, but they’re within one mile of town,” said David Wilks, the mayor of Sparwood.

“We have enough of a challenge as it is, as most communities do in the East Kootenay, and to have another one, in my opinion, for the District of Sparwood, is not a wise avenue.”

READ: RDEK takes steps towards reducing carcass pit use

Mike Sosnowski, the Electoral Director for Area A, noted his concerns that carcasses could serve as an attractant that would draw in more bears, much like what is already occurring near a mink farm in the Elk Valley.

Wilks added that the Sparwood landfill used to accept carcasses over 30 years ago, but stopped that practice after the bears dug their way in, and moved disposal to the Olsen Pit out near Hosmer. Currently, it only accepts construction and demolition waste.

With files from Phil McLachlan/Fernie Free Press



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Elk Valley pride groups celebrate milestone

LGBTQ community marks 50 years since decriminalization

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

VIDEO: Sick eagle released back into wild

Three months after a golden eagle suffering from lead poisoning was found… Continue reading

New program to get Elk Valley youth into workforce

Elk Valley once again facing labour shortage with over 150 job vacancies

CanWel takes Fernie students tree planting

Fernie Secondary class learns about reforestation; CanWel responds to AKBLG resolutions

VIDEO: Canadian breaks women’s world record for longest plank

Dana Glowacka, of Montreal, held a plank for four hours and 20 minutes

Sparwood Save-On-Foods partners with Food Share

A Sparwood supermarket is on its way to becoming waste free after… Continue reading

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Kootenay man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Community spirit saves Sparwood’s Coal Miner Days

Volunteers still needed to help run event, which will be held from June 3-9 at various locations

Most Read