Council bears its teeth

It’s about time. City council has finally taken a step to show leadership on dealing with bears in our community.

It’s about time. City council has finally taken a step to show leadership on dealing with bears in our community.

On Monday night council introduced a new bylaw to manage residents still too blind to see human neglect is the root cause of the needless slaughter of bears. The city will now have the power to hit people where it hurts most — the pocketbook.

Bears were wandering these mountainsides long before fruit trees and sloppy human leftovers arrived. We are on their turf and it’s inevitable there will be conflicts. Managing this delicate balance can’t be thrown on the furry shoulders of the bears, so it’s up to the humans to find solutions.

Since common sense hasn’t worked in the last few years, the introduction of the bylaw is a necessary step.

Mayor John Dooley and councillor Bob Adams raised valid concerns Monday night. The city doesn’t really have the means to employ a force of barbecue police, so enforcement might be an issue. But like most of the city’s bylaws, having the hammer at least provides a more persuasive argument for jerks who refuse to be good neighbours.

If everybody was aware of their surroundings there would be no need for a bylaw. It’s obvious garbage should be stored so the smells don’t waft to wandering bears snacking on natural treats in the forest. It’s pretty clear untended fruit trees are just like Skittles on a stick for the big bruins. Yet, it seems not everybody gets it.

Bear conflicts are on the rise within city limits, so something has to give to ensure the safety of both human and animal.

It’s the bears themselves who should be most grateful for the bylaw. These are wonderful creatures who add much to the forest ecosystem. Here’s hoping council’s leadership will provide more bears the opportunity to do what comes naturally.

Nelson Star


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