Revelstoke City Council passes garbage collection and wildlife attractant bylaw

Revelstoke's newly passed Garbage Collection and Wildlife Attractant bylaw is aimed at reducing human-wildlife conflict. Mayor Mark McKee said there have been discussions with the conservation office, and an increased presence is expected this year.

A black bear. Photo: Revelstoke Bear Aware

Revelstoke City Council has approved the new Garbage Collection and Wildlife Attractant bylaw. The bylaw is aimed at reducing human-wildlife conflict and could see homeowners responsible for covering costs if the city has to hire staff or contractors to remove attractants from a private citizen’s yard.

“It’s really great this is coming forward. I know it’s going to be very helpful this summer,” said Councillor Linda Nixon.

Mayor Mark McKee said the city heard loud and clear from the public that the number of bears euthanized last year was unacceptable.

“What happened with the bears last year is exactly why this is here. It’s not acceptable the number of bear deaths we had,” said McKee. “It’s up to the whole community to look what’s going on in their backyards.”

McKee said the city has also had several meetings with the conservation office, and that there would be an increased presence this year. He also stated that it is up to individual homeowners to make sure they aren’t part of the problem.

“This bylaw is necessary so we have the teeth in our bylaws to make sure people are being compliant. We will be notifying people. We will not go to the nth degree first,” he said.

In an interview with the Mountaineer, Revelstoke Bear Aware coordinator Maggie Spizzirri said the bylaw provides an opportunity to educate people about bear and other wildlife attractants on their property. She emphasized that having a bear proof yard can also help eliminate other unwanted wildlife.

You can read a previous story on the new bylaw here.