Residents at a North Fork home have been directed to clean up trash left on their property that was attracting bears to a nearby section of the Great Trail (formerly Trans Canada).
Conservation officer (CO) Kyle Bueckert confirmed Friday, Sept. 11, that he issued a dangerous wildlife protection order after investigating a complaint filed Labour Day Monday by an avid trail-user who lives in Grand Forks. The order directs the residents to properly store and secure their garbage and recycling or they could face a fine topping $500.
Garbage, including soiled diapers, was left festering in the residents’ yard near a section of the trail at Eagle Ridge, according to the complainant, who spoke to the Gazette on the condition of anonymity. Animals then dragged the trash onto a beaten pathway leading away from the yard, they said.
The complainant said they came across a bear on the same section of the trail after rotting garbage was left on the pathway during a recent summer.
Safely secure your garbage
Bueckert is reminding city residents that bears are drawn to garbage because, “they’re going for every last calorie that they can get ahead of their winter hibernation.”
“The last thing we want to do is to have to trap and maybe kill a habituated bear.”
British Columbia’s Wildlife Act makes it an offense to attract dangerous wildlife. If, for example, garbage left unsecured in a backyard were to draw a bear onto a property, COs could give an offending resident a $230 ticket.
A wildlife protection order effectively serves as an official warning, in this case to clean up the mess that’s attracting bears to the residents’ yard and surrounding area. But the Wildlife Act backs this up with a $539 fine.
On top of the order, Bueckert said he gave the residents literature explaining the hazards of attracting potentially aggressive animals into spaces where humans live.
The residents were cooperative when he gave the order, he told the Gazette.