Late Wedneday afternoon, the City of Revelstoke issued a press release on the current bear situation in Revelstoke. The killing of nine bears in Revelstoke last week triggered a big community conversation in Revelstoke, international media attention, and a protest in front of city hall on Monday afternoon. Here’s what the city had to say on the subject:
City of Revelstoke Media Release: Garbage Regulation Enforcement Increased in Revelstoke
Revelstoke B.C. – Over the past month the City of Revelstoke has stepped up its bylaw enforcement in an effort to reduce the number of human wildlife conflicts.
Bylaw enforcement in the City of Revelstoke is usually initiated by citizen complaints, however in light of the recent bear euthanizations the city has increased patrols and is proactively enforcing regulations in areas where bears have been reported.
Mayor McKee stated “Recent events have saddened and shocked our community, and triggered a renewed awareness around human wildlife conflict. Bears have always been a part of Revelstoke’s culture, we have a Bear Aware Coordinator, good bylaws for disposal of garbage and consistent messaging, residents and visitors need to be extra responsible with securing their garbage and harvesting their fruit, and these are the two largest contributors to human wildlife conflict.”
The city has distributed more than 2,000 educational brochures to residents and businesses this month alone and is operating on a zero tolerance policy for failure to obey the following garbage regulations, fining $100.00 per occurrence.
-A garbage container must, at all times, be maintained in a clean, dry, odour free and sanitary condition and receptacle must be covered securely with the lid.
-A garbage container shall be kept on the owner’s premises at all times and stored in a location not accessible by wildlife, except when placed on such curb or lane for the purpose of collection under this Bylaw.
-A garbage container shall be set out no earlier than 6:00 am on the day of collection.
Residents are encouraged to secure and lock up all potential food sources, which include food scraps and food soiled papers, beverage containers, pet food, bird feed, diapers, grease barrels, petroleum products and chemical products. Immediately remove fallen fruit and pick fruit upon ripening and to ensure outdoor refrigerators or freezers are locked or inaccessible to wildlife.
Reducing wildlife attractants will keep residents safe and wildlife wild, education and outreach has always been a priority and the city actively promotes and supports the Bear Aware program to educate the public. The city is working collaboratively with the Chamber of Commerce to help businesses with information on how to properly store garbage and protect wildlife.
Revelstoke is experiencing an increase in the number of visitors to our community this year, educating them on how to deal with bears and their garbage is critical. The city has increased social media messaging and prepared brochures for the visitor information centre in an effort to reach this demographic.
Bears that become habituated to human food sources are euthanized because they can become aggressive. Relocating bears doesn’t work – often, bears don’t fare well in their new environment, and many will walk dozens of miles to return to their old feeding grounds. The BC conservation officers are working to protect residents from aggressive bears.
For more information about Bear Aware visit the Bear Aware Website or about the City’s garbage collection and disposal regulations visit revelstoke.ca
Bear sightings should be reported to the Provincial Conservation Officer Service 24-hour toll-free hotline at 1.877.952.8277