Nelson residents must help cut down on bear conflicts this summer

A Nelson resident shares tips for reducing human-bear conflicts.

On behalf of the grizzly and black bears, and to help save their lives, it must be remembered that as settlers we live in their home as well and need to learn to co-exist maintaining nature’s balance.

To help stop killing the bears and maintain a harmonic existence, preventative measures for a safe and trouble free relationship include:

a) Being responsible for your waste, garbage and compost. Locked in secure containers or left inside a building can prevent the bears from accessing the food source and remaining in the area waiting for more.

b) Electric fences, including solar powered, are a proven method of preventing the bears from eating fruit from the trees or attacking other small animals (perhaps chickens).

Protective measures include maintaining awareness of your surroundings and carrying noisemakers (ie. bells or whistles and perhaps bear spray). With experience, a whistle, with short loud blasts, is successful at scaring a bear away. When on forest adventures, it is important to leave one ear open when listening to headphones.

And remember: pack it in pack it out. Please be mindful that these animals are simply living their lives, wandering their way and need not be a threat to any human. Have a safe and happy summer.

Matthew Anshelm

Nelson