The City and WildSafeBC remind residents to manage bear attractants to keep our community safe and avoid the preventable destruction of bears.
Bears have a strong sense of smell and can easily become food-conditioned, so it is important for residents to deter bears by managing household waste and treating them as unwelcome visitors if they do show up.
“Castlegar has achieved Bear Smart community status which means we are dedicated to keeping bears safe and reducing human-bear conflict,” says Tracey Butler, the City’s Director of Corporate Services. “By being proactive at this time of year when the bears are preparing for hibernation, we can minimize bears becoming habituated which can lead to their destruction.”
The best way to keep people and bears safe is to remove access to all sources of food and continue reporting sightings or conflicts to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277 so they are aware of problem areas and can help before the animal becomes food-conditioned and habituated. All the food items that attract bears can also attract other unwanted critters like rats, skunks, and raccoons.
How can people help?
Your Curbside Collection Carts
- Lock and store garbage and organics carts in a secure building between your collection day.
- Carts left outside must have both clips locked and be chained to a strong post or tree between collections. It is more difficult for bears to break into a cart if it is fixed upright.
- Only place carts on the curb with clips unlocked between 4-7 a.m. on your collection day. Fines up to $200 may be issued for carts not secured or placed on the curb outside of collection windows.
- If your cart or clips are damaged, contact the City.
- Freeze especially smelly food items. Add them to your cart on your collection day (ie: meat, bones, rotten fruit, etc).
- Take additional garbage to the landfill.
- Clean your cart regularly. Add ¼ cup of baking soda and ¼ cup of Borax to absorb odours.
- Secure and manage backyard compost carefully by adding small amounts at a time and never add meat, dairy, bones or grease.
Prevent Other Attractants
- Pick all domestic fruit and nuts as they ripen. Join the Harvest Match Castlegar Facebook group to learn more about how we’re matching local people with fruit and nut trees to reduce food waste and bear attractants.
- Feed pets inside and store pet food inside.
- Remove bird feeders until winter.
- Install electric fencing.