Bearly progressing in Kimberley

Household waste is still the number one attractant for wild animals in Kimberley

There are attractants aplenty for bears in Kimberley.

There are attractants aplenty for bears in Kimberley.

Household waste is still the number one attractant for wild animals in Kimberley, Sonja Seher from Wildsafe BC told Kimberley City Council this week.

Seher was at Council this week looking for the City to amend their garbage bylaws in a way that would assist her work.

“I urge Council to move forward to emend the bylaw so the work I do is supported. I can educate, but there is no enforcement.”

She told Council that Wildsafe is an advocate of using garbage cans, but that is not supported by the bylaw. Another issue is unsafe storage of garbage.

Last year, Seher spent some time tagging garbage that was put out too early in contravention of the bylaw, and educating residents on the bylaw. This year, she says she is noticing a lot of garbage stored insecurely.

“Some houses are small, there are only car ports and that’s it.”

Consequently people are storing garbage either in the car port or maybe a screened porch, both places easily accessible to wildlife. Seher says Lower Blarchmont is a neighbourhood where a lot of insecure storage is taking place. Most of the homes in that area are smaller and older.

“So we have regressed,” said Mayor Don McCormick.

“Well we haven’t progressed,” Seher said.

One solution, Seher says, is for the City to purchase bear proof bins and make them available to residents. That was tried in Elkford, she said. The town purchased about 25 of the bins and a resident could borrow them for one season. Often the resident ended up purchasing the bin.

Coun. Albert Hoglund pointed out that the City went to bags in the bylaw instead of cans because of Work Safe issues.

However, Seher said the bylaw could specify small 77 litre cans only.

The City is proceeding on amending the bylaw but all the work is not yet done.