Homeowners asked to start taking responsibility for garbage

It's time for homeowners to take responsibility for securing garbage. Mark Levisay photo courtesy of WildSafe BC
It’s time for homeowners to take responsibility for securing garbage. Mark Levisay photo courtesy of WildSafe BC

Up till now there have been relatively few bear sightings in Revelstoke this season, and those have been mostly just bears eating natural food in the wild. However that has all changed in recent days.

“Bears have been reported damaging property, getting into garbage, disturbing compost and stealing garbage cans in four different areas of town this week,” said Sue Davies, coordinator for WildSafeBC and Revelstoke Bear Aware.

“Fortunately people have been calling the RAPP line (1-877-952-7277) to report these incidents, which helps get the information out there,”she said in a statement released on Tuesday, June 24. “People are worried that if they call the RAPP line, the conservation officer will come and shoot the bear. That is not necessarily the case. Destroying the bear is the last thing anyone wants, and is only used as a last resort if the bear has become conditioned to eating human food, has lost it’s fear of people and is a serious threat to human safety.”

The first line of defence is with the homeowner, to ensure that bears and other wildlife don’t get access to human food. Revelstoke’s new garbage bylaw (Bylaw No. 2006) states that garbage must be secured against wildlife. A regular plastic or metal garbage bin will not protect your garbage. Unless you have one of the bear resistant bins, it must be in a locked shed or garage to keep it secure.

Other foods that attract bears include birdfeeders, fruit, smelly compost, livestock and livestock feed, pet food and dirty barbeques.

“Ensure these things are not available to wildlife and chances are that bears will just wander on by and cause no conflict,” Davies said. “The bonus is that removing the availability of these food sources also means that rodents, coyotes, and cougars are less likely to pay a visit to your property.”

For more information on managing bear attractants please visit www.www.wildsafebc.com. To report wildlife sightings or conflicts with wildlife please call the RAPP Line at 1-877-952 7277.