A black bear carrying garbage outside a residence. (WildsafeBC - K. Friederich)                                A black bear carrying garbage outside a residence. (WildsafeBC - K. Friederich)

A black bear carrying garbage outside a residence. (WildsafeBC - K. Friederich) A black bear carrying garbage outside a residence. (WildsafeBC - K. Friederich)

Garbage attracts bears, put it away or face fines: B.C. conservation officers

Conservation officers from Vernon issue dangerous wildlife attractant orders in Swansea Point area

It’s no fun waking up to find your garbage strewn across your yard, and its even less fun to receive a fine for it.

That’s why B.C. Conservation is spreading the word that those who leave out attractants for bears could face an audit from one of its officers.

Conservation officers from Vernon went to a residence in Swansea Point on Tuesday to issue dangerous wildlife attractant orders after receiving a number of calls regarding bear activity in the area.

It’s not the sort of notice to toss in the bin unheeded, as failing to comply with an order will lead to a $575 fine.

Vernon Conservation officer Tanner Beck’s message is plain and simple: secure your garbage properly or bears may be killed.

“Garbage has to be secured in a structure or a certified bear-proof container so that we do not have bears that get into the garbage and, as a result, have to be put down.”

Spring and fall are the peak seasons for bear activity, but Beck says securing attractants should be a common practice all year, other than the winter months when bears are hibernating.

Garbage isn’t the only attractant to take care of. Bird seed, neglected fruit trees and pet food are also bear magnets and are easily taken care of, Beck said.

Vanessa Isnardy — provincial co-ordinator of WildSafeBC, which works closely with the B.C. conservation officers — said securing attractants will become increasingly important in the coming months.

“We are heading into a very active fall when bears consume 20,000 calories a day, on average,” she said.

Isnardy urges those with bird feeders to take them down as we head into bear season.

“If they haven’t been taken down already they should definitely be taken down now. One kilogram of bird seed on average has 8,000 calories.”

WildSafeBC has some September events to promote ways to protect wildlife, including a the B.C. Goes Wild Photo Contest.

To learn more about how to prevent bears from getting into garbage or other attractants you may have, or to learn about B.C. Goes Wild Events throughout the province, visit the WildSafeBC website at wildsafebc.com.

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Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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Conservation