Bear Aware’s annual report: volunteer support excellent; bear deaths down

2012 was a moderately busy year for Revelstoke Bear Aware.

In the organization’s annual report to City Council, Coordinator Sue Davies said there were 119 reports concerning black bears and 6 reports concerning grizzly bears, totalling 125 reports, made to the RAPP line and Revelstoke Bear Aware in 2012. One black bear and one grizzly bear were destroyed in 2012. No bears were relocated.

Garbage continues to be the number one attractant for bears, followed by fruit trees. Compost, outdoor freezers and fridges, livestock, and BBQ’s also continue to be bear attractants. This year there were no reports of bears accessing birdfeeders, pet food, beehives or vegetable gardens. There were 6 incidents where bears caused damage to property and 7 reports of bears accessing areas such as carports or verandas.

Revelstoke Bear Aware delivered 26 Bear Aware presentations, attended 8 public events and festivals, and presented at 5 workshops. Through these events we reached a total 1, 966 people.

Revelstoke Bear Aware visited 628 residences in door-to-door visits. Some of these were as a result of garbage surveys made to determine where garbage was being put out the night before collection day. Garbage tags were handed out to 70 residents.

There were 4,626 visits to the Revelstoke Bear Aware website. Nineteen posts regarding attractant management were made to the Stoke List. Revelstoke Bear Aware issued 8 press releases in 2012 and had 10 articles published.

Twenty residents with fruit trees contacted Revelstoke Bear Aware in 2012 to take part in The Gleaning Project. A total of 1190 kg of produce was harvested from the community and 776 kg was donated to various agencies and community groups in 2012. Community Connections Food Bank was pleased to receive 424 kg of fresh fruit and a further 307 kg of fruit preserved by The Gleaning Project and by the Local Foods Initiative. A further 35 kg was delivered to preschools in the community. Volunteers contributed over 127 hours to The Gleaning Project in 2012.

Included in this report are recommendations for 2013. The key recommendations are summarized below:

  • That Revelstoke Bear Aware continues to run an outreach program educating residents or Revelstoke and newcomers about reducing human-bear conflict in bear country;
  • That Revelstoke continues to work toward creating a bear-proof solid waste system;
  • That Revelstoke Bear Aware begins an education campaign to inform residents of their new responsibilities under the new Solid Waste and Recycling Bylaw No. 2006;
  • That a wildlife attractant bylaw be created,
  • That Revelstoke Bear Aware embarks on a program of identifying rouge fruit trees and mapping them with GIS; and
  • That Revelstoke Bear Aware updates the Bear Hazard Assessment and Bear-Human Conflict Management Plan in collaboration with city officials; and
  • That Revelstoke Bear Aware continues to work towards Provincial Bear Smart status.

Davies said it would not have been possible to deliver the Revelstoke Bear Aware program to so many members of the community without the support from volunteers. This year a total of 287.5 volunteer hours were given to Revelstoke Bear Aware.

Click here to read the full report.