By Sue Davies, Revelstoke Bear Aware
BC Hydro recently presented Revelstoke Bear Aware with $3,000 to promote environmental sustainability, and help conserve bears in the Revelstoke area.
Revelstoke Bear Aware provides education about how to reduce conflict between bears and humans by reducing bear attractants in our community. The Revelstoke Bear Aware Society has also helped educate BC Hydro’s Mica project workers about bears.
The funds provided by BC Hydro will enhance the conservation of both black and grizzly bears by educating people on how to reduce the risk of bears becoming habituated and food-conditioned. Bears conditioned to eating human food can become aggressive and often have to be destroyed. Both species of bears are keystone species in the Columbia Basin and, as such, we cannot afford to be destroying them in our town.
“Our mission is to reduce human-bear conflict by reducing the amount of bear attractants in our communities” said Bear Aware co-ordinator Sue Davies.
Garbage is the primary bear attractant in Revelstoke, followed by fruit trees, livestock, poorly managed compost, and birdfeeders. Outdoor fridges and freezers, pet food left outside and dirty BBQs are also bear attractants.
Revelstoke Bear Aware urges residents to secure garbage in a garage or lockable shed, and to take down birdfeeders during the summer months. Keep your compost from becoming smelly; never add meat, fish, dairy products, or cooked food.
As the season progresses, pick all fruit as or before it becomes ripe. If you have excess fruit or produce, contact Bear Aware at 250-837-8624, email firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for volunteers from The Gleaning Project to collect or pick the fruit and donate it to the Community Connections Food Bank.
Revelstoke Bear Aware will also be hosting a free electric fencing workshop on Aug. 8 for anyone interested in finding out the best way to protect livestock, fruit trees, or other attractants from bears. Please call or see our website for details.
For more information on managing your attractants and information on upcoming events, see the Revelstoke Bear Aware website, www.revelstokebearaware.org, or visit the provincial Bear Aware website at www.bearaware.bc.ca
To report bear sightings or problem bears please call the RAPP line at 1-877-925 7277.
Revelstoke Bear Aware gratefully acknowledges the financial support of BC Hydro, the Columbia Basin Trust, the Ministry of Environment, BC Conservation Foundation, Revelstoke Credit Union, and Revelstoke Community Foundation. Revelstoke Bear Aware also appreciates the ongoing in-kind support from Parks Canada, the CSRD, and the City of Revelstoke.