Unsecured garbage is the main reason bears are lured into West Trail neighbourhoods

Unsecured garbage is the main reason bears are lured into West Trail neighbourhoods

Hungry bears lured into West Trail

Unsecured garbage main reason bears are lured into West Trail neighbourhoods, says CO.

“My job is public safety, not to protect your garbage.”

Those words from local CO (Conservation Officer) Blair Thin as he patrolled West Trail on Monday following reports of a bear in the neighbourhood.

“We get a lot of complaints from the West Trail area of bears that are causing people concerns,” he said. “Ninety-nine per cent of these complaints we respond and provide advice to, are because of attractants. Bears are in people’s yards because those attractants, are garbage.”

The CO voiced disappointment as he drove along Austad Lane and Binns Street, counting 12 houses that had garbage left out in the open either in a bag or can.

“Three of the houses have, what looks like, a bear had access to the cans and spread garbage all over the yard,” described Thin during a phone conversation with the Trail Times. “I’m actually looking at a place right now that has two garbage cans sitting right beside their garage the door of the garage is closed, put your cans in there.”

People often call the COs to report a bear in their yard, then ask the officers to come and do something about the situation.

“They say, ‘I don’t understand why you guys aren’t doing something about these bears,’” said Thin. “I contest that and say, we are calling these people back, almost every single one of them, and telling them to secure their attractants that’s the bottom line.

Thin was frustrated, noting every other house appeared to have an attractant in the back yard, front yard, or out in the open.

“And just because there’s a lid on your can, that doesn’t mean the garbage is secured,” he pointed out. “I’m driving along and see a lid on the cans but most have bear teeth in them.”

So far the frequent West Trail sightings haven’t led to a bruin being killed. But the Conservation service has already shot two one in Castlegar, the other in Glenmerry, and both were related to garbage rustling.

“It’s a human cause garbage issue and has nothing to do with a bad bear that’s predatory in nature,” Thin continued. “So if you have a bear that is ‘harassing you,’ that’s using the word the public always uses, then do let us know. But that also means you’ll have to do something different with your attractants.”

Shooting a bear in an urban setting is the last resort.

“A lot of times we do see bears but do not do anything about them” said the CO, noting sightings are mostly in fringe neighbourhoods or built up areas on the mountainside. “I am not going to put anyone’s life at risk (by shooting) in order to protect a garbage bin, so that has to be brought into perspective.”

What Thin can do, is advise complainants (who leave out refuse) that attracting dangerous wildlife to their property is an offence.

“People have a million different reasons why they can’t secure their garbage in some way,” he said. “But what it comes down to is, it’s against the law to keep your garbage unsecured in your yard and it is an offence to attract dangerous wildlife to your premises, simple as that.”

Those found non-compliant can be subject to a $230 ticket.

“If I have to destroy a bear in someone’s back yard that was eating garbage and posing a threat to public safety, then I will charge them,” he said. “It’s hard to say you don’t know a bear is around especially when you live in West Trail, everybody knows the bears are here.”

To report a human wildlife conflict call RAPP (Report All Poachers and Polluters) at 1.877-952.7277.


Just Posted

Keith Smyth, Kootenay Savings director at-large joins children from the Kids’ Care Centre at St. Michael’s Catholic School. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Savings continues credit union’s tradition of giving

Funding totalling $48,250, is going to a wide array of Kootenay initiatives

From left: Karl Luedtke (West Arm Outdoors Club), Dale Williams (BCWF), Molly Teather (FLNORD), Gord Grunerud (West Arm Outdoors Club), Eugene Volokhov (Grand Prize Winner), Casey McKinnon and Lex Jones (Jones Boys Boats). Photo: Tammy White, Whitelight Photography
Balfour man lands big prize from angler incentive program

Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

Waneta Manor is located on Laburnum Drive in Trail. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Senior dies as Trail tenants continue wait for broken elevator to be fixed

The elevator in Waneta Manor has been out of commission since February

For Your Consideration
Brokeback Facebook: I wish I knew how to quit you!

Thom is inspired by the proliferation of viral inane questions to reevaluate his social media use

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

FILE – Most lanes remain closed at the Peace Arch border crossing into the U.S. from Canada, where the shared border has been closed for nonessential travel in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Thursday, May 7, 2020, in Blaine, Wash. The restrictions at the border took effect March 21, while allowing trade and other travel deemed essential to continue. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Feds to issue update on border measures for fully vaccinated Canadians, permanent residents

Border with U.S. to remain closed to most until at least July 21

A portion of the George Road wildfire burns near Lytton, B.C. in this Friday, June 18, 2021 handout photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, BC Wildfire Service *MANDATORY CREDIT*
Blaze near Lytton spread across steep terrain, says BC Wildfire Service

Fire began Wednesday and is suspected to be human-caused, but remains under investigation

Blair Lebsack, owner of RGE RD restaurant, poses for a portrait in the dining room, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. Canadian restaurants are having to find ways to deal with the rising cost of food. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Canadian restaurateurs grapple with rising food costs, menu prices expected to rise

Restaurants are a low margin industry, so there’s not a lot of room to work in additional costs

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
Fort St. John man arrested after allegedly inviting sexual touching from children

Two children reported the incident to a trusted adult right away

Barbara Violo, pharmacist and owner of The Junction Chemist Pharmacy, draws up a dose behind vials of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines on the counter, in Toronto, Friday, June 18, 2021. An independent vaccine tracker website founded by a University of Saskatchewan student says just over 20 per cent of eligible Canadians — those 12 years old and above — are now fully vaccinated. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
At least 20% of eligible Canadians fully vaccinated, 75% with one dose: data

Earlier projections for reopening at this milestone didn’t include Delta variant

This undated file photo provided by Ernie Carswell & Partners shows the home featured in the opening and closing scenes of The Brady Bunch in Los Angeles. Do you know the occupation of Mike Brady, the father in this show about a blended family? (Anthony Barcelo/Ernie Carswell & Partners via AP, File)
QUIZ: A celebration of dad on Father’s Day

How much do you know about famous fathers?

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Most Read