Bear Aware has decided to oppose a local move for backyard chickens, saying they represent a bear attractant in Revelstoke.
“The mandate of Revelstoke Bear Aware is to reduce human-bear conflict through the reduction of attractants in our community,” wrote Bear Aware co-ordinator Sue Davies in a letter to council. “Our data show that chickens and their food are an attractant to bears.”
In her letter, Davies wrote that there were 16 reports of chickens and their food attracting bears between 2008 and 2011, according to data collected by the Report All Poachers & Polluters line and Revelstoke Bear Aware.
The reports come from both inside and outside city boundaries and include black bears and grizzly bears. At least five black bears were destroyed as a result of chicken coops over the time period.
“Revelstoke Bear Aware does not support the keeping of backyard chickens in Revelstoke,” Davies concludes.
In May a delegation of the North Columbia Environmental Society went to council to present the case for allowing backyard chickens in Revelstoke. She told council that chickens were not bear attractants but that chicken feed was. She said properly storing and handling food could mitigate bear issues.