Creston council doesn’t pass bear bylaw

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  • Jun. 23, 2011 6:00 a.m.

Amendments to a waste management regulations bylaw got a cold shoulder from several Creston town councilors on June 14.

The amendment proposals, based on recommendations from the local Bear Aware program, would have defined when residents could put out garbage for collection and placed restrictions on backyard birdfeeders.

“This (bylaw amendment) is ‘way beyond what’s necessary,” Coun. Jerry Schmalz said. “It’s another bunch of paper that we aren’t going to enforce anyway.”

“I’m in favour of stickers on garbage cans and public awareness and education, but this bylaw is over the top,” Coun. Wesly Graham said. “We didn’t discuss birdfeeders or things like that before. That has put it off track.”

Development services director Lou Varela said the amendment recommendation was prepared at the direction of town council after it heard a presentation from Bear Aware coordinator Gillian Cooper. Varela said she had worked with Cooper to put “best practices” into the amendment.

Following that May 24 presentation, Graham with Coun. Judy Gadicke seconding, moved that staff prepare an amendment to waste management regulations bylaw No. 1395 to create a more “bear aware” community, that the Conservation Officer Service be authorized to post “bear in vicinity” notices on municipal property and that the town commits to continue promoting bear awareness within the Town of Creston by establishing a link from the town’s website to the Trans-Border Grizzly Bear Project website. The motion was carried.

Amendments to the waste management regulations would have prohibited the setting out of garbage cans for street collection before 7 a.m. It would also have banned the use of birdfeeders between April 15 and Dec. 1 to reduce the attraction of bears into residential areas.

A motion to refer the issue back to town staff for further input was defeated. That effectively ends discussion about how to promote bear awareness unless the mayor or a councillor reintroduces the topic.

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