RMG File photo 2021

By Andrea Arnold

As the days get warmer, bears emerging from hibernation are looking for easy meals.  The Conservation Officer Service is once again reminding residents of the importance of removing food sources from properties and securing garbage.

“Take responsibility and do your part to secure attractants,” the Conservation Office said in an April 12th release. “Do not present opportunities for bears to become habituated and/or food conditioned.”

The Conservation Officer Service strongly suggests that garbage be stored in a secure location, inaccessible to bears. For those serviced by Public Works, the recommendation is to put bins out the morning of pick up, not the night before.

Pet food should never be left outside, and bird feeders that have been used all winter need to be put away for the summer. Even the discarded shells need to be cleaned up, as they are appealing to a hungry bear.

Outdoor freezers, and dirty barbecues can draw bears in with the promise of food.

Spring is also the time to think ahead to fruit tree/bush management, beehive and livestock safety and livestock feed, and how to prevent these things from being a draw.

“We will be conducting compliance checks throughout our district, which includes Valemount,” said Clearwater-based Conservation Officer Colin Kravontka.

McBride will receive visits from Prince George-based Officers.

The officers will be checking to see that all attractants have been removed or secured, and that business dumpster lids are closed and locked.

Fines, or a Dangerous Wildlife Protection Order may be issued if individuals are found non-compliant.