Ben Simoni is the new Selkirk-Purcell WildSafeBC Co-ordinator for the 2021 season. (Submitted)

Ben Simoni is the new Selkirk-Purcell WildSafeBC Co-ordinator for the 2021 season. (Submitted)

WildSafeBC announces new community co-ordinator for Selkirk-Purcell region

Ben Simoni will be working in the region from May to November

WildSafeBC aims to prevent human conflict with wildlife through collaboration, education, and community solutions.

To help with this mission, Ben Simoni has been appointed the new WildSafeBC community co-ordinator for the Selkirk-Purcell region, which covers the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) management zones A, B, C, and G including the towns of Creston, Erickson, Yahk, Lumberton, Moyie, Crawford Bay and surrounding areas.

“I think there’s a misconception that you have to get far out into the wilds before you’re in animal territory,” said Simoni. “But in a small community like Creston, wild animals like bears, cougars, and coyotes are travelling through the area much more than you realize. We want to make sure they go on their way and don’t become food conditioned from human garbage.”

In his role, Simoni will be working hard to reach out to community members in new and innovative ways that maintain physical distancing and safety for the community.

From May to November 30th, he will be involved in a number of WildSafeBC modified program initiatives, including door-to-door information delivery campaigns, safety and education sessions, garbage tagging, and webinar delivery of the popular WildSafe Ranger Program for school-aged children.

To kick off the summer, there will be workshop on how to use bear spray at the Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre, located at 1760 West Creston Road, on Sunday, June 13 from 1 to 5 p.m.

Participants can stop by the booth to get more information about WildSafeBC, chat about animals, or take part in the bear spray workshop. The workshops take about half an hour to complete and are free to attend. A $5 donation is asked for the use of the inert bear spray.

Please contact Ben Simoni at selkirkpurcell@wildsafebc.com or 236-972-2442 for more information on how to register for upcoming free programs. We will continue to provide local wildlife activity news and tips as the season progress on our local Facebook page. We look forward to hearing from you and with your help, we can reduce conflict with wildlife and keep our community safe.

For further information on wildlife and how to reduce human-wildlife conflict visit www.wildsafebc.com, follow WildSafeBC Selkirk-Purcells on Facebook, or contact Ben Simoni.

Please report wildlife in conflict to the Conservation Officer Service 24/7 at 1-877-952-7277. Residents can also report sightings of bear, cougar, coyotes or wolf in an urban area. 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.

READ MORE: WildSafeBC: What to do if a tick bites you

READ MORE: WildSafeBC: How to avoid bear encounters

Creston Valley