City of Revelstoke introduces wildlife attractant bylaw

Proposed wildlife attractant bylaw gives city ability to enter properties to clean up attractants, and then charge the owners for the work.

A bear munches on an apple tree. The City of Revelstoke's new wildlife attractant bylaw will give it tools to ensure people secure their wildlife attractants.

A bear munches on an apple tree. The City of Revelstoke's new wildlife attractant bylaw will give it tools to ensure people secure their wildlife attractants.

The City of Revelstoke’s proposed wildlife attractant bylaw will give the city the ability to enter properties to clean up animal attractants, and then charge the owners for the work.

The new Garbage Collection and Wildlife Attractant Bylaw goes in front of council for its first three readings on Tuesday, May 9.

It includes new regulations around maintaining and securing animal attractants like garbage, fruit trees, barbecues, bird feeders and compost.

“The purpose is to discourage and prevent wildlife from accessing and becoming conditioned to, or dependent on food sources generated or controlled by human activity,” says a report by Teresa Lerose, the city’s manager of legislative services.“The proposed Garbage Collection and Wildlife Attractant Bylaw will put the city one step closer to becoming a Bear Smart Community.”

The bylaw says that any fruits or nuts that fall from a tree to the ground must be cleaned up in two days; that any outdoor food storage must be inaccessible to wildlife, that barbecues must be kept clean, that bird feeders must be made inaccessible to wildlife, and that composts must be maintained so they produce no order and is inaccessible to wildlife.

“Failure to comply may result in the city by its own employees or authorized agents/contractors cleaning up and removing such attractant and the cost of such shall be charged to the owner,” states the report. “This will ensure that the attractants are cleaned up in a timely manner should the owner remain non-compliant or is away from the premises.”

If the owner fails to pay, the costs will be added to their tax bill.

The bylaw says the city operations manager, parks/arena foreman and bylaw enforcement officers “may enter, at all reasonable times, upon any property in order to ascertain whether the regulations set out in this bylaw are obeyed.”

The bylaw was produced in reaction to the events of last summer, when 24 garbage-habituated bears were destroyed by the Conservation Officer Service, resulting in widespread calls for Revelstoke to become more bear smart.

The bylaw was scheduled to be discussed at the May 9 meeting of council.