WildSafeBC’s annual BC Goes Wild weekend taking place Sept. 14 t0 16, 2018

WildSafeBC will also be tagging garbage cans put out before collection day.

Garbage is one of the largest attractants for black bears, especially during the month of September when they are preparing for hibernation. WildSafeBC will be hosting several information sessions on wildlife attractants during their annual BC Goes Wild weekend, Sept. 14 to 16, 2018. (WildSafeBC file).

WildSafeBC is continuing their public education about wildlife attractants during the month of September through both garbage tagging in Kimberley, and the annual BC Goes Wild event.

Danica Roussy, WildSafeBC Community Coordinator for Kimberley/Cranbrook, says garbage bins that are placed on the curb the night before pickup will be targeted, as garbage is the number one attractant for black bears.

“The bins will receive a bright yellow sticker that serves as a warning to residents that their garbage is an attractant,” said Roussy.

She adds that WildSafeBC wants to remind residents of the City’s garbage bylaw that does not allow garbage to be placed curbside before 5a.m. on the day of pickup.

“By warning residents and educating the public about attractant management through initiatives such as garbage tagging, WildSafeBC hopes to reduce human-wildlife conflict in Kimberley,” Roussy explained. “As we approach the end of summer, the bears are become especially active in preparation for winter denning.

“During this transition of the seasons, bears eat as much as possible to increases their body weight by approximately 30 per cent. This phase for bears is called hyperphagia, and it is an important time for bears. Since bears are also opportunistic feeders they will eat almost anything they can get their paws on.”

Roussy says that it is also important to pick fruit trees if you have them and take down bird feeders as they are also bear attractants.

Another way WildSafeBC is trying to increase awareness on the issue is through the annual BC Goes Wild event that will be held on the weekend of Sept. 14 to 16, 2018. Alongside several community events will be the 2018 BC Goes Wild Photo Contest.

“The third weekend of September is when we encourage the residents of BC to enjoy a BC Wild Weekend. Hike, paddle, bike, or take part in one of the many activities going on around the province,” said WildSafeBC in a media release. “This is the weekend that WildSafeBC encourages people to safely enjoy wildlife in the wilds. It is our hope that by emphasizing the fact the wildlife should be in the wilds – and not in our urban areas, that people will help us meet our goal of keeping wildlife wild and communities safe.”

Roussy will be leading two wildlife presentations, two bear spray demonstrations, will be attending two nature walks and will be present at the Cranbrook Farmers’ Market. The event schedule is as follows:

Kimberley/Cranbrook

Wildlife Presentation and Bear Spray Demo

6PM-8PM, September 14

Moyie Provincial Park

Cranbrook Farmer’s Market Booth

10AM-1PM, September 15

10th Avenue South, Cranbrook

Wildlife Presentation and Bear Spray Demo

6PM-7PM, September 15

Nordic Trail Head, Kimberley

Bear Encounter Tips + Bear Spray Demo

10AM-11AM, September 16

Sylvan Lake, Gateway Trail

Bear Spray Demo and Nature Walk

9AM-1PM, September 16

Myrtle the Magnificient, meet at Nordic Trail parking lot

The rules for the 2018 BC Goes Wild Photo Contest are as follows:

WildSafeBC is looking for your photos of wildlife (birds, mammals, reptiles, fish, insects, any non-domestic animal from BC) or photos of “doing the right thing” for avoiding conflict with wildlife (e.g. a dog on a leash, a bear-resistant garbage bin, observing bear “sign”, carrying bear spray, etc.).

Quick Overview:

*Photos need to have been taken anytime between 12:01 a.m. January 1, 2018 to 11:59 p.m. September 16, 2018.

*Photographers need to follow proper etiquette when collecting photos of wildlife.

*Submissions must be received by 12 noon on Monday September 17, 2018.

*Include in the email: your full name, email address, date photograph was taken, location, subject matter, your age, the name of the photograph. If the photo is of a ‘best practice’ explain what that practice is.

*Send your entries by email into bcgw@wildsafebc.com with the subject line: BCGW Photo Contest.

For more information contact Roussy at 250.908.8101 or email her at kimberley@wildsafebc.com.

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