Bears shaking off winter sleep

The bears are awake and are looking for food – and that includes our garbage and bird feeders.

Bears have finished their winter sleep and are now on the prowl for food.

Bears have finished their winter sleep and are now on the prowl for food.

The bears are awake and are looking for food – and that includes our garbage and bird feeders.

At this time of year, the bears are looking to make up the weight that they lost over hibernation. They can find many of the calories they seek in our garbage and in the sunflower seeds and other seeds in bird feeders.

Remember last year?  Grizzlies in Nelson, Blewett, Whitewater and black bears in all our communities. No one knows how the cold, wet spring will affect the huckleberries and other wild food available to bears this year.

But we can all work together to manage garbage, fruit, bird feeders, compost, pet food and other attractants so that no bears are destroyed in our communities this summer.

Sponsors of local Bear Aware include the Columbia Basin Trust, the RDCK, Areas E and F, and the British Columbia Conservation Foundation.

Bear Aware will be back going door to door giving out information; attending events; giving presentations and working in other ways to help people manage attractants.

Bear Aware will be encouraging people to explore using electric fencing to protect chickens and orchards by loaning a small number of electric fencers and materials again this year.

You can contact Nelson, Area E and F Bear Aware at bearaware@netidea.com for more information. Contact the Conservation Officer Service at the RAPP line (1-877-952-7277) with any bear sightings, property or safety concerns.