Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)

The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds WildSafeBC Cowichan Valley coordinator Amanda Crowston, but there is a lot us humans can do to reduce our interactions with them.

”Last year, the areas of higher conflict in the Cowichan Valley included Shawnigan Lake, Maple Bay, and a couple spots around Cowichan Lake,” she said.

The reasons are predictable. More rural areas and… trash.

“Hot spots are the result of bears accessing attractants like garbage, compost and fruit trees,” Crowston noted. “Through garbage tagging bins the night before collection day, and information brochures and booths, bear conflict was reduced.”

One of the best success stories was the community around The Properties in Maple Bay.

“We tagged 131 garbage and compost bins out the night before collection on the first night in The Properties,” Crowston explained. “When we visited the neighbourhood later in the year, only 35 bins were out in the neighbourhood, and the bear conflict had decreased as well. Great job Maple Bay!”

WildSafeBC is the provincial leader in preventing conflict with wildlife through collaboration, education and community solutions and is delivered by the BC Conservation Foundation in communities across BC. The program is available and free to the public and schools in the Cowichan Valley because of sponsors like the Province of BC, the Cowichan Valley Regional District, the Municipality of North Cowichan, the Township of Ladysmith, Fisher Road Recycling and Island Return-It.

”While the COVID-19 pandemic may be keeping many of us at home, that is not true for the bears and other wildlife that live nearby,” Crowston said.

She’s reaching out to community members in new and innovative ways that maintain physical distancing and safety for the community.

This year’s WildSafeBC modified program initiatives will run from now until November and include door-to-door information delivery campaigns, garbage tagging, and a webinar delivery the WildSafe Ranger Program for school-aged children. That’s in addition to Wildlife Awareness and Safety Education sessions.

”We will continue to provide local wildlife activity news and tips as the season progresses on our local Facebook page,” Crowston noted. “We look forward to hearing from you and with your help, we can reduce conflict with wildlife and keep our community safe.”

To register for a free session, or for further information on wildlife and how to reduce human-wildlife conflict visit www.wildsafebc.com, follow WildSafeBCCowichanValley on Facebook, or contact cowichanvalley@wildsafebc.com or 250-210-7303.

To report wildlife in conflict to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

Residents can also report sightings of bear, cougar, or wolf in an urban areas. These reports are uploaded daily to WildSafeBC’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), available at www.wildsafebc.com/warp.

This program allows the public to see what wildlife has been reported in their neighbourhood and be alerted of new sightings.



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

cowichan valleyWildlife

Just Posted

An old growth cedar stands in a cut-block within the Caycuse Valley. More than 100 prominent Canadians, have signed an open letter calling for the immediate protection of all remaining old-growth forests in B.C. (Submitted)
Brian Mulroney and Greta Thunberg among 100 celebrities pushing to save B.C. old growth

List includes Indigenous leaders, scientists, authors, Oscar winners

Tim Wilkinson, who will attempt a double anvil triathlon on Vancouver Island on July 3, poses with his training partner, Shadow, who has been dragged up and down the Nanaimo Parkway many times. (Submitted)
Vancouver Island triathlete takes on ‘double anvil’ for charity

7.6km swim, 360km bike ride, and 84.4km run, all within 36 hours

From left: Thomas Kuecks, David Lane, John Ivison, Denis Berger, Rod Gray, and James Kuecks are Cabin Fever. Catch their performance on the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre website. (Ashley Foot photo)
A&E column: Music Festival winners, CVAC awards, and Cabin Fever

The latest from the Cowichan Valley arts and entertainment community

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
Cowichan Valley MLA Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

BC Green Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on Friday, February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
U.S. border restrictions to remain in place until at least July 21

Safety minister says Canada, U.S. extending restrictions on non-essential international travel

The Co-op gas station at Whiskey Creek is burning after a camper van exploded while refueling just before 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 17, 2021. (FACEBOOK PHOTO)
Exploding camper van torches Highway 4 gas station between Qualicum Beach and Port Alberni

Highway traffic blocked after Whiskey Creek gas station erupts into flames

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Helen Austin performing with Trent Freeman at the 2018 Vancouver Island MusicFest. Austin is one of the many performers listed for the 2021 event.
Vancouver Island MusicFest goes virtual for 2021

Black Press to stream 25 hours of programming July 9-11

Himalayan Life helped finance the construction of Nepal’s Yangri Academic Centre and dormitories after a 2015 earthquake devastated the valley, killing more than 9,000 people. (Screen grab/Peter Schaeublin)
B.C. charity founder pledges to rebuild Nepalese school swept away by flash floods

6 years after a catastrophic earthquake killed more than 9,000 people, Nepal gets hit again

Greater father involvement in the home leads to improved childhood development and increased marital satisfaction, says expert. (Black Press Media file photo)
Vancouver Island researcher finds lack of father involvement a drag on gender equality

Working women still taking on most child and household duties in Canada: UVic professor

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

Most Read