WildSafeBC garbage bin campaign in Williams Lake
The Cariboo Regional District and the City of Williams Lake are partnering with WildSafeBC to educate residents about preventing human-wildlife conflict in the City. Garbage is by far the number one reported attractant for black bears in BC and the Cariboo, which is why it is important to manage it carefully so that wildlife can remain wild and our communities safe.
As part of the educational portion of their program, WildSafeBC will be visiting various neighbourhoods in Williams Lake this summer to do garbage tagging. Mareike Moore, WildSafeBC Coordinator for the Cariboo will be placing a highly visible and removable sticker on containers placed on the curb the night before collection. WildSafeBC provides information on how to properly manage attractants, such as garbage, but does not enforce bylaws or deliver fines.
The goal is to make people aware the bins can attract wildlife to their neighbourhood as they provide, empty or full, smells and visual cues for bears and other wildlife that may become food-conditioned if they receive a food reward when opening the bins. A food-conditioned animal can put themselves and people at risk and may cause property damage.
This campaign was highly successful in 108 Mile Ranch last year, when the program took place from June until September. The number of containers put out the night before collection decreased strongly after residents were made aware of garbage being a major bear attractant. It is likely that the results also affected the number of calls to the Conservation Officer Service RAPP line for black bear encounters.
By warning residents and educating the public about attractant management through initiatives such as garbage tagging, WildSafeBC hopes to prevent human-wildlife conflict in Williams Lake.
“Often, people are not aware that having their garbage bin out too early is a real risk for wildlife as well as your community. We believe that educating people, giving them access to information and raising awareness for the topic, can make a real difference in Williams Lake.” Mareike Moore says.
For further information about the program or for tips on wildlife safety visit wildsafebc.com, follow WildSafeBC Cariboo on Facebook, or contact your WildSafeBC Cariboo coordinator at 250-302-2132 or email@example.com.
WildSafeBC is the provincial leader in preventing conflict with wildlife through collaboration, education and community solutions. The 2020 garbage tagging program is funded by the Cariboo Regional District, the British Columbia Conservation Foundation and the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
About British Columbia Conservation Foundation: The British Columbia Conservation Foundation (BCCF) is a not-for-profit organization. BCCF’s mission is to promote and assist in the conservation of the fish and wildlife resources of the Province of British Columbia through the protection, acquisition or enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat.
Mareike MooreWildSafeBC Cariboo Coordinator250firstname.lastname@example.orgChris KeamManager of Communications, CRD250email@example.com