The city's Bear Aware coordinator is hoping a new wildlife attractant bylaw will cut down the number of grizzlies heading to the city for dinner.

New bylaw takes aim at garbage, bird feeders, fruit

Nelson's Bear Aware coordinator says a new wildlife and waste management bylaw is a "head's up" for residents who are sloppy with their garbage and attract bruins to the city.

  • Jun. 14, 2011 4:00 p.m.

Joanne Siderius is looking forward to having more firepower.

The local Bear Aware coordinator says a new wildlife and waste management bylaw is a “head’s up” for residents who are sloppy with their garbage and attract bruins to the city.

“It’s like, okay, the city’s serious about this,” a jubilant Siderius told local media after council gave the bylaw its first three readings Monday.

“The message is the same: manage attractants. But now there is a tool… now the city and its enforcement agencies have a means of dealing with people.”

Under the new bylaw, garbage can only be placed at the curb between 5 a.m. and 7 p.m. on the day of collection. If it’s stored outside in the interim, it has to be in a bear resistant container or secure building.

The bylaw also prohibits feeding wildlife or feeding “other animals in a manner that is likely to attract wildlife,” restricts bird feeder use during bear season, requires fruit tree owners to pick up and dispose of fallen produce and barbeque users to keep their equipment clean and free of residual food.

“Now if someone is causing a problem in their neighbourhood, leaving garbage in a place where bears can get it, there is a way to deal with people,” said Siderius. But councillor Bob Adams and mayor John Dooley both expressed doubts about the new restrictions.

“Does this mean every person in Fairview – because they all have garbage cans in the back lanes – can only leave their garbage out on collection days?” Adams asked. “I think it’s going to be impossible to enforce.”

“It’s pretty broad in scope,” added Dooley. “It’ll be interesting to see what the enforcement piece is like.”

But other councillors suggested enforcement isn’t what’s needed as the bylaw is rolled out. Kim Charlesworth said this year the city should focus on educating the public about the new requirements, with penalties handed out more freely later on.

I think it would be unfair to citizens to all of a sudden say everybody has to have a bear proof container,” she added. “It’s going to take some time for people to wrap their heads around that and figure out how to start storing their garbage.”

Siderius will likely be at the forefront of the education campaign.

“We’re going to be mentioning there is now a bylaw and helping people understand what that bylaw means,” she said, adding she doesn’t think storing garbage in a bear-proof way will seem that revolutionary to anyone in the city.

“If you have a pile of garbage and a bear is getting into it, you have had to change the way you’re managing your garbage anyway.”

The bylaw will be back for adoption at a future council meeting.


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

FedEx distribution centre coming to Castlegar

Development permit for ground facility before council next week.

Heart, minds, and 100 years of the Nelson library

Past and future collide this year at the Nelson library, and it all kicks off this weekend

Crows, pirates and Segways: L.V. Rogers students make projects out of passions

The Grade 12 students presented their capstone projects Wednesday

Kootenay teams heading for curling provincials

Team Buchy and Team Nichols won the senior playdowns.

On the job hunt with Nelson’s Make A Change Canada

The employment charity is organizing next week’s Kootenay Patricks, Montreal Canadiens game

Kids across Canada more at risk of hospitalization from flu this season: doctor

Dr. Theresa Tam said influenza B does not usually peak until February or later

Crown won’t appeal sentence in child sex assault case of former Burns Lake mayor

B.C. Prosecution Service said sentence doesn’t meet standard for appeal

Kelowna’s ‘Baby Mary’ finds biological parents after more than 30 years

Geneologist and DNA test helped her connect with her biological parents

B.C. offers $5 million equipment loan program to help ailing forest contractors

Local politicians in Port McNeill and Campbell River says local economies are struggling

Vancouver Island distillery wins award for best Canadian rye whisky

Shelter Point cleans up at Canadian Whisky Awards

Kelowna hotel to award couples for baby-making with Nooner deal

The deal includes a free stay every Valentine’s Day for the next 18 years

‘Scariest boat ride of my life’: Passengers trapped by ice on rocky B.C. ferry sailing

The Nimpkish docked in Bella Coola on Jan.12 coated in a thick layer of ice

B.C. pair ordered to pay $55,000 for oil tank discovered four years after selling home

Judge says defendants breached contract, despite being unaware of tank until basement flooded

Canada to give $25,000 to families of each Canadian who died in Iran plane crash

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also made it clear that Canada still expects Iran to compensate victims

Most Read