Elk Valley Bear Aware

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Preventing human-bear conflicts in Fernie, Sparwood, Elkford and the South Country
Updated: 1 hour 25 min ago

Bear sightings in Ridgemont Fernie, on Pine Avenue in Sparwood and in Tie Lake

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 11:59

  

Fernie

Bear sightings reported on 4th Avenue and on the Dike trail by the Leroux Mansion.  A bear and two cubs reported on Ridgemont Drive.  Bear sightings reported throughout the trail networks in Ridgemont, Montane and Mount Fernie Provincial Park.  If you are going hiking or biking be prepared to encounter bears anytime.

Sparwood                                                                                                    

Bear sightings reported by Lilac Terrace on Pine Avenue

Tie Lake

Bears reported climbing onto front decks and accessing chicken coops

For more information on wildlife safety visit www.wildsafebc.com                                                                   

 

 

 

Bear and cubs seen in on Ridgemont Drive

Mon, 09/25/2017 - 09:46

Recent wildlife sightings.  Bear sightings reported on 4th Avenue and on the Dike trail by the Leroux Mansion.  A bear and two cubs reported on Ridgemont Drive on the weekend.  Bear sightings reported throughout the trail networks in Ridgemont, Montane and Mount Fernie Provincial Park.  If you are going hiking or biking be prepared to encounter bears anytime.

For more information on wildlife safety visit www.wildsafebc.com

Bear sightings on the dike trail by Dogwood Park and the Leroux Mansion Fernie

Thu, 09/21/2017 - 10:24

Bear sightings have been reported on the dike trail by Dogwood Park and the Leroux Mansion.  Thanks for keeping garbage indoors until collection day, cleaning up fruit trees and securing attractants.  If you see a bear and the bear sees you, speak in a low voice to let the bear know you are human and back away slowly.

For more information on bear safety visit https://wildsafebc.com/black-bear/

Third grizzly bear destroyed this year in the Elk Valley and hikers bluff charged by a grizzly bear and cubs on Mt Baldy trail.

Mon, 09/18/2017 - 10:50

We, the people, contributed to the death of this bear by approaching it or feeding it, by intent or neglect with garbage left outdoors and apples on the tree or windfall fruit rotting on the ground!   Repeated exposure to people lead to the grizzly bear posing a threat to human safety and ultimately its death.

Why don’t we just move bears out of town so they can live in the forest?  The Conservation Officer Service used to regularly trap and relocate bears.  Then, in the late 1980’s this practice was questioned.  As a result, relocated bears were marked with an ear tag when they were released.  Some were radio collared and tracked.  Two things became apparent:

-The survival rate of relocated bears was very low.  The bears often fail to adapt to their new habitat and may starve to death or be killed by animals that already occupy the area.

-Most relocated bears were finding their way back into their original home territory or become “problem” animals in other communities.

The grizzly bear that was destroyed last week had originally come from Alberta identified by an ear tag.  This bear had a long history of aversive conditioning in order to move him away from people and communities. He then made his way to Elkford. The bear was unresponsive to further efforts to move him out of town with rubber bullets and cracker shells.  He was given many chances but ultimately found himself posing a threat to human safety and had to be destroyed.

Relocating bears is not a solution.  Keeping garbage stored indoors until collection day, cleaning up fruit trees and securing wildlife attractants is the best way to keep people safe, prevent property damage, and avoid the unnecessary killing of bears that come into conflict with people.

Recent Wildlife sightings:

Fernie

Two hikers were bluff charged by a grizzly bear and cubs on Mt Baldy trail.  Bear sightings reported in James White Park and at the top of Cemetery Bypass trail, Montane trails and Stove trail.

Elkford

A second grizzly bear has been reported throughout Elkford.

For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict go to www.wildsafwbc.com

 

 

 

BC goes wild weekend. Learn how to use bear spray today at the Fernie Fall Fair

Sun, 09/17/2017 - 08:41

Come along and learn how to respond to wildlife encounters and get hands on experience using inert bear spray (like the real thing but without the sting of the pepper).  Sunday September 17th at 1:30 pm at the Fernie Chatauqua Fall Fair at City Hall

The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented.  Having bear spray accessible and knowing how to use it will give you the confidence to do the right thing (stay calm, assess the situation and respond accordingly) and not give in to the instinct to run (which can invoke the chase instinct).

Got apples?  Feed familieis not bears.  Bring your apples and use the apple press to make apple juice for free today at the Fernie Fall Fair.

Lock up your garbage, clean up your fruit trees and bears will move on.

apple trees will attract bears to your yard

BC Goes Wild Weekend. Drop by the Family Safety Day at the Community Centre Today

Sat, 09/16/2017 - 08:41

WildSafeBC will be a the Family Safety Day today at the Fernie Community Centre between 10 and 2.  Drop by to learn more about keeping your family safe and wildlife wild.

Learn how to use bear spray this Saturday at 1:30pm at the Fernie Fall Fair at City Hall

Thu, 09/14/2017 - 09:21

Come along and learn how to respond to wildlife encounters and get hands on experience using inert bear spray (like the real thing but without the sting of the pepper).  Saturday September 17th at 1:30 pm at the Fernie Chatauqua Fall Fair at City Hall

The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented.  Having bear spray accessible and knowing how to use it will give you the confidence to do the right thing (stay calm, assess the situation and respond accordingly) and not give in to the instinct to run (which can invoke the chase instinct).

For more information contact the WildSafeBC Coordinator, fernie@wildsafebc.com

 

 

Feed families not bears! Got apples? Make juice for free at the Fernie Fall Fair this Saturday

Wed, 09/13/2017 - 09:08

Bring in  your Fernie apples and use the apple press at the Fernie Fall Fair this Saturday between 10 and 2 pm at the Fernie City Hall. Bring freshly picked apples, windfall fruit may contain bacteria, put the apples through the apple press and get the most amazing apple juice.  For more information go to http://ferniechautauqua.com/fallfair/

Fernie apples make great juice

Collared Grizzly bear is feeding on apples in Elkford, bears in the Annex Park in Fernie. Your apple tree is your responsibility!

Tue, 09/12/2017 - 07:50

Your apple tree is your responsibility!  Trees loaded with fruit and windfall fruit on the ground are baiting grizzly bears into Elkford neighborhoods, black bears in the Annex Park in Fernie and jeopardizing the safety of your family and of the bears.  Feeding dangerous wildlife (by intent or neglect) is an offence in BC.  Bears will pass through our yards; we chose to live in bear country!  It is important however, that the bear is not rewarded for being there.  If your neighbours are unable to deal with their tree due to illness, disability, elderly etc… help them out!  The safety of your neighborhood depends on it.

When a bear gets food (garbage and apples) in your yard, it doesn’t know that your tolerance for bears is higher than your neighbours.  It learns that a house, lawn, bicycle and the faint smell of people comes with an easy meal.  It eats, learns and moves on.  Eventually it will find itself somewhere it is not welcome.  And when bears and humans are in conflict, the bear dies nearly every time.

Owning a fruit tree in bear country is a big responsibility.  Pick fruit daily as it ripens or pick it before it ripens if you don’t intend on using it and don’t allow fruit to accumulate on the ground.  Pruning your fruit trees will result in a better and more manageable quality of fruit.   Dispose of excess apples responsibly; take them to the transfer station.  Consider using an electric fence to protect your fruit trees.  If you no longer want to manage your tree, consider replacement with a native, non-fruit bearing variety.

For more information on preventing human wildlife conflict go to https://wildsafebc.com/

 

 

 

 

Collared Grizzly bear feeding on apples in Elkford backyards.

Mon, 09/11/2017 - 08:57

One of the collared grizzly bears, part of a study has been reported throughout Elkford feeding on apples in backyards. Biologists are currently studying the way grizzly bears use the landscape in the Elk Valley and how they interact with people.  The results of the study will be used to make suggestions on how to minimize interactions with people based on the data.

Keep garbage indoors and clean up fruit trees, bears will move on!

Grizzly bear walking along Chimo Crescent in Elkford and black bears on Pine Crescent in Fernie

Fri, 09/08/2017 - 07:55

Grizzly bears have been seen throughout Elkford, black bears on Pine Crescent in Fernie and cougars in Sparwood.  Wildfires are driving wildlife into our communities.  There is a lot of discussion about providing water or food to wildlife displaced by wildfires.

Wildfire and wildlife populations have evolved together over hundreds of thousands of years. We need to step back and allow natural systems to sort themselves out. Putting water out is providing an attractant and another reason for wildlife to stop and to stay in a neighbourhood – this is not safe for anyone in the neighbourhood and could ultimately lead to the destruction of the very wildlife that one is trying to help. 

Displaced wildlife will seek out and find new areas that are suitable for them. Interfering with this natural process, while well-meaning is short-sighted and can lead to long term issues. Removing attractants is the only proven effective way to keep people safe and wildlife wild. 

 

 

Bear sighting reported on Pine Crescent last night in Fernie

Thu, 09/07/2017 - 10:32
I dont mind bears eating apples in my yard, whats the big deal?

This is a reply that I often get when I visit people with trees loaded with apples and rotting windfall fruit all over the ground!  Fire and smoke will be driving bears into town anytime now.  Bears will pass through our yards, we chose to live in bear country!  It is important however, that bear is not rewarded for being there.  When a bear gets food(garbage and apples) in your yard, it doesn’t know that your tolerance for bears is higher than your neighbours.  It learns that a house, lawn, bicyle and the faint smell of people comes with an easy meal.  It eats, learns and moves on.  Eventually it will find itself somewhere it is not welcome.  And when bears and humans are in conflict , the bear dies nearly every time.

So thanks for keeping garbage away from bears and cleaning up or removing apple trees.   If you are unable to manage your fruit trees due to disability, illness, elderly or lack of equipment:  there is a group of volunteers able to assist you, contact applepickfernie@gmail.com or Wildsights’ Apple Capture Program http://www.wildsight.ca/branches/elkvalley/apple-press/

Keeping garbage away from bears and cleaning up fruit trees will result in a cleaner and safer community for everyone.

apple trees will attract bears to your yard

I dont mind bears eating apples in my yard, whats the big deal?

Wed, 09/06/2017 - 13:55

This is a reply that I often get when I visit people with trees loaded with apples and rotting windfall fruit all over the ground!  Fire and smoke will be driving bears into town anytime now.  Bears will pass through our yards, we chose to live in bear country!  It is important however, that bear is not rewarded for being there.  When a bear gets food(garbage and apples) in your yard, it doesn’t know that your tolerance for bears is higher than your neighbours.  It learns that a house, lawn, bicyle and the faint smell of people comes with an easy meal.  It eats, learns and moves on.  Eventually it will find itself somewhere it is not welcome.  And when bears and humans are in conflict , the bear dies nearly every time.

So thanks for keeping garbage away from bears and cleaning up or removing apple trees.   If you are unable to manage your fruit trees due to disability, illness, elderly or lack of equipment:  there is a group of volunteers able to assist you, contact applepickfernie@gmail.com or Wildsights’ Apple Capture Program http://www.wildsight.ca/branches/elkvalley/apple-press/

Keeping garbage away from bears and cleaning up fruit trees will result in a cleaner and safer community for everyone.

apple trees will attract bears to your yard

 

Grizzly bears on Newgate, Natal and Needles Crescent in Elkford

Tue, 09/05/2017 - 14:08

Tuesday September 5th.  Grizzly bears have been reported on Newgate, Natal and Needles Crescent the last two evenings.  Keep all garbage inaccessible to the bears, clean up the apple trees and secure all other attractants.

The safest wildlife encounter is one prevented. Your best defense is to be aware of wildlife in the area.

 Make Noise to avoid a surprise encounter (use your human voice, clap hands or two rocks together – especially near running water or in dense brush)

  • Carry a walking stick (adults can carry Bear Spray in a side holster)
  • Walk in groups
  • Keep dogs leashed and/or under voice control

     If you encounter a Bear:

  • STAY CALM
  • DO NOT RUN
  • Let the bear know you are human (arms out to side)
  • Use your voice in a calm, assertive manner.
  • Back away slowly and allow the bear an escape route
  • Never turn your back on wildlife
  • Do not approach or feed wildlife

Report grizzly bear sightings to 1-877-952-7277

Bear and cubs destroyed at Rosen Lake and a cougar attacked a dog in Sparwood

Mon, 09/04/2017 - 08:22

The Conservation Officer Service had the unfortunate task of pulling the trigger to destroy a bear and cubs in Rosen Lake last week.  Everyone in that area with garbage, fruit trees, and other attractants or approaching this bear family contributed to their death.  Human food and exposure to people eventually resulted in the bears posing a threat to human safety.  Relocation is not a solution and seldom works with bears; they often return to their original home territory or become “problem” animals in other communities.

A family was out on a trail with their dog by the Whispering Pines Mobile Home Park in Sparwood when their dog was attacked by a cougar last Thursday night.  No one was injured.   The Conservation Officer Service (COS) investigated and was unable to locate the cougar.

Please report all cougar sightings to the COS on 1-877-952-7277.

Cougar sightings on Matevic Road and bears on Sicamore Drive in Sparwood

Wed, 08/30/2017 - 06:56

Cougars have been seen on Matevic Road and Michel Creek road the last few days.  Bear sightings reported yesterday morning on Sicamore Drive.

For you own safety and to help keep wildlife wild thaks for keeping garbage indoors until collection day and clean up apple trees.

For more information on wildlife visit https://wildsafebc.com/

apple trees will attract bears to your yard

Grizzly bear back in Elkford and cougar sightings on Lazy Lizard Trail

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 14:12

Grizzly bear sightings were reported on Chimo Crescent and Chauncy Ridge in Elkofrd yesterday.  A cougar was seen by a mountain biker at 10 am on Lazy Lizard Trail this past Saturday morning.  A black bear and cubs seen daily by Rosen Lake.

For your own safety

At home:  lock up your garbage, clean up fruit trees and  remove anything that might attract wildlife

On the trail:  Avoid surprise encounters, call out, clap, sing, don’t litter and carry bear spray.

For more information go to https://wildsafebc.com/

Cougar sighting on Broken Hip and Bear and cubs on Erics Trip

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 17:35

A cougar was reported earlier today on Broken Hip trail by the Scary Trail junction.  A bear and cubs have been hanging around the bottom of Erics Trip trail.

Fernie is Wildlife Country.  Be prepared and expect to encounter wildlife anytime.

For more information on wildlife safety go tohttps://wildsafebc.com/species/

 

 

Cougar sighting in The Cedars early this morning

Tue, 08/22/2017 - 09:34

Tuesday August 22.  A large cougar was reported at 6:30 am this morning on a path in The Cedars by the Mt Fernie Provincial Park Campground.

Caution Cougars in Area

Cougars are wide ranging animals and may show up in urban settings from time to time. If they are passing through it is important they do not find food that may encourage them to stay.  Many urban incidents occur with young cougars that have not yet learned how to hunt effectively or older animals that can no longer hunt in the wilds.

  • Feed pets indoors and keep pets indoors, especially at night. Cats and small dogs that are left to free-range, hunt small birds and rodents and, in turn, become prey themselves.
  • Never feed deer or other possible prey species for cougars. While deer may be pleasant to watch, they can attract large predators such as cougars into residential neighborhoods. As well, urban deer present their own set of problems to you and your neighbors.
  • Cougars are most active during the period from dusk until dawn

If you encounter a Cougar

  • STAY CALM, DO NOT RUN, MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT
  • Pick up small children and small pets
  • Let the Cougar know you are human-NOT prey
  • Make yourself as large and as mean as possible
  • Use your voice in a loud and assertive manner
  • Back away slowly. Never turn your back on wildlife
  • If the Cougar attacks, fight back with everything that you’ve got, it is a predatory attack

Never Approach or Feed Wildlife

Report human/wildlife conflict to 1-877-952-7277 or #7277 on cell.

 

60% of calls made to the Conservation Officer Service Hotline cite bears accessing garbage

Mon, 08/21/2017 - 10:16

Grizzly bears were seen throughout the day all over Elkford late last week and a hiker was bluff charged by a grizzly bear on the lost lake trail.  Although there have been no sightings of the grizzly bears the last few days be prepared and expect to encounter wildlife anytime.

Between the start of 2014 and July 9 2017, there have been 26 128 Problem Wildlife Occurrence Reports (PWOR’s) regarding bears made to the Conservation Officer Hotline (RAPP) Report All Poachers and Polluters.  15 676 or 60% of the calls cited bears accessing garbage followed by 4 085 or 16%  bears accessing fruit trees.  It is obvious that garbage and fruit trees need better management.

Keeping garbage stored indoors until collection day and securing wildlife attractants is the best way to keep people safe, prevent property damage, and avoid the unnecessary killing of bears that come into conflict with people.

Bottom line: Garbage, birdseed and pet food etc. attracts bears to your property making it more likely for the bear to break into your home creating a safety risk for your family and a death sentence for the bear.

For more information on managing wildlife attractants go to https://wildsafebc.com/

 

 

 

 

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