LETTER: Heartbroken over backyard chickens decision

From reader Stephanie Gibson

Re: Nelson council says no to backyard chickens, June 24

Our family is heartbroken that our mayor and council would not recognize how we have kept our birds safe, healthy and happy for the past year, and how our daughter is learning valuable life lessons and education on food security and sustainability. Surely we displayed that we are the example they had been looking for to prove that backyard hens are not all bad.

We have diligently managed all of our attractants, no bird feeders, no food waste compost, no garbage stored outside, all animal food is kept in our basement, two noisy dogs that mark their fence line. No property could be better suited to deter a bear.

I’m disappointed that a city built into a forest cannot find a viable solution. They have not made an effort to work with the community on backyard hens, have yet to install bear proof bins in local parks, pushed neighborhood garbage collection bi-weekly and allow garbage to attract bears to populated downtown areas. I’m not denying they are here, but they are obviously not after my chickens.

With no incidents reported against my hens this past year, it feels more like guilty until proven innocent. I do understand there have been instances of poor chicken management that have lead to the death of local wildlife, but let’s utilize this opportunity to learn form those mistakes and give rise to change. It is possible to co-exist with bears and other wildlife without sacrificing our own resources.

Stephanie Gibson