Fencing out the bruins

Electric fences can be a simple and cost effective way to keep native fauna, like bears, out in the wild.

Free electric fencing workshops slated for Saturday in Trail and Rossland

Electric fences can be a simple and cost effective way to keep native fauna, like bears, out in the wild instead of foraging in neighbourhood back yards.

In response to a high number of incidents between bruins and fowl and coyotes and pets, WildSafeBC is hosting two free workshops about electric fencing on Saturday, called “Good Fences Make Good Neighbours.” The first session goes in Trail on Nov. 12 from 10:30 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. in Room 155 of Selkirk College. The second is slated later that day in Rossland from 2:30-4:30 p.m. in the Second Avenue curling rink.

“Rossland had multiple issues with bears and back yard chickens this fall,” says Desiree Profili, local WildsafeBC community coordinator. “Bears sightings were definitely up this year in both Trail and Rossland for many reasons, early food ripening, low huckleberry crop and an increase in awareness.”

The animals are not yet in hibernation, though sightings are on the down swing.

Compost and fruit trees remain a primary attractant for bears and other animals like raccoons, so electric fences are a good deterrent to avoid interactions even this time of year.

“Electric fences are one of the best options if done right and are proven to work,” said Profili. “There are a set of standards to follow to keep wildlife out as opposed to livestock in, these can be found on the WildSafeBC provincial website,” she added. “They are easy to install and perfectly safe for any yard in any neighbourhood.”

Gillian Sanders from Kaslo WildsafeBC, is leading the workshops. Sanders lends her expertise following a project that involved the installation of 140 electric fences to successfully protect livestock and fruit trees from both black and grizzly bears.

Various electric fencing designs, both permanent and temporary, will be discussed during the sessions.

Those interested are asked call Profili at 250.231.7996, or contact her by email at trail@wildsafebc.com or rossland@wildsafebc.com.

This is the first year Montrose residents have been allowed to install electric fences. After several residents asked to install the fences as a means to field away bears, council removed the electric barriers as “prohibitive” under its zoning bylaw.

Mayor Joe Danchuk has heard from one of those homeowners since, and says it wasn’t just bears that were deterred from the man’s garden.

“I had an older gentleman, his issue was more with domestic cats,” explained Danchuk, mentioning the felines were digging and leaving feces in the soil. “So it’s helped more with that, and it also helps keeping out skunks and rodents.”

Aside from a few cougar and deer sightings, Danchuk emphasized that bears continue to be the village’s number one nuisance.

“The big issue again, is bears,” he said. “Between any garbage left out (and trees) my neighbour has two chestnut trees, well established over 10 to 12 years, the bear would come every night and knock down the branches and eat the chestnuts all the branches are snapped right off.”

Aside from bear and chicken clashes, a few other wildlife species have also been the source of alarm this year.

“There are three instances of small pets being attacked by coyotes in Trail,” noted Profili. “Mostly on the east side of the river, and one on a hiking trail. Montrose and Rossland both recently had cougars sighted.”

She reminds the community that coyotes and cougars remain active all winter, so pets should always be walked on a leash and small children kept at arms length.

WildSafeBC is a program designed to reduce human-wildlife conflict through education, innovation and cooperation. It has evolved out of the highly successful Bear Aware program and is owned and delivered by the British Columbia Conservation Foundation.

Rossland/Trail WildsafeBC reported 11 bears killed in Trail last year, and nine in Rossland the highest number since 2010.

Just Posted

Trail police release image of liquor store robber

The video surveillance image shows the robber aiming a black gun at the store’s clerk

More snow called for the Kootenays

Environment Canada issued the bulletin Tuesday under its “BC Traveller’s Routes forecast”

Castlegar daycare selected for univeral child care pilot program

MLA Katrine Conroy presents letter of acceptance to the program to the Children’s Centre at Selkirk College

Kootenay employers ready to meet job seekers at Black Press career fair

Dozens of companies will attend the event on Nov. 15 at the Ktunaxa Nation Building in Cranbrook

Sandblasting Silver City skate sign

The Trail Sk8 Park was closed on Thursday so workers could ready a sign for painting

VIDEO: Amazon to split second HQ between New York, Virginia

Official decision expected later Tuesday to end competition between North American cities to win bid and its promise of 50,000 jobs

Kuhnhackl scores 2 odd goals as Isles dump Canucks 5-2

Vancouver drops second game in two nights

Stink at B.C. school prompts complaints of headaches, nausea

Smell at Abbotsford school comes from unauthorized composting operation

Fear of constitutional crisis escalates in U.S.; Canadians can relate

Some say President Donald Trump is leading the U.S. towards a crisis

B.C.-based pot producer Tilray reports revenue surge, net loss

Company remains excited about ‘robust’ cannabis industry

Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul further strained Riyadh’s already difficult relationship with Ottawa

Feds pledge money for young scientists, but funding for in-house research slips

Canada’s spending on science is up almost 10 per cent since the Liberals took office, but spending on in-house research is actually down

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

Letters shed light on state of mind of B.C. mom accused of daughter’s murder

Trial of South Surrey mother Lisa Batstone begins in BC Supreme Court

Most Read