Letter from the mayor

There has been lots of conversation about bears and how to live in harmony with them.

  • Aug. 27, 2015 4:00 p.m.

Dear Rosslanders

There has been lots of conversation about bears and how to live in harmony with them.  Removing food items that attract them is really important. Instead of just talking about it let’s get out as a community and do something about it! Meet me, and Sharon W. of WildSafeBC, at Maclean’s school at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29 and we will pick fruit. Bring your own boxes or containers. A couple of stepladders would be helpful too. Then, starting at 10 a.m. on Sunday, Aug 30 we can meet at  Larry Doell’s house (888 Esling drive) and press the fruit into juice! Bring your own containers. Please join us and be part of the solution.

BTW, members of the city crew are picking fruit off city trees this week. There are more trees than we can manage ourselves. Feel free to help anytime!  We can live in harmony with the bears if we are smart about it but we have to do more than talk — we have to act. There is a discussion on bhubble that has a lot of really good ideas. Take a look and implement the ones that work for you.

I will be talking with a number of people about other things the city can do and other things the community can do. We could have a massive community effort to address the problem together. WildSafeBC does an excellent job educating people who are willing to learn and change their behavior. Sharon and I will both be at this week’s farmers’ market with information.

Some people resist the suggestion that they should be responsible for their garbage, fruit, birdseed, chicken feed, dog food, etc., but seriously, this is primarily a “people problem”. We live in bear habitat and we have a personal responsibility to mitigate the issue.

That said, bears are wild animals and they are unpredictable. Some bears become unafraid and aggressive. It is better to make sure they stay wild by not letting them get comfortable in town.

The city budget has limitations: Yes, we can spend more money on enforcing our Wildlife Attractant bylaw; we can spend more money buying bear proof bins; allocate more money to dealing with the wild fruit trees all over town on city property but that does not absolve citizens from doing what is right on their own property.

The city has a robust wildlife attractant bylaw which prohibits people from leaving tempting food items available to bears. Like the rest of our bylaws, we enforce them based on complaints. Try gentle reminders first but if that doesn’t work, and someone is in violation, please call WildSafeBC or the city and we will help resolve the situation, first through education and next with fines. We need your help identifying problem areas.

Mayor Kathy Moore

Rossland

 

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