Not a Golden time for bears

Bears are being bears again, trying to fatten up before a long winter sleep.

  • Oct. 9, 2012 5:00 a.m.

Sadie Parr

Golden Bear Aware Community Co-ordinator

Bears are being bears again.  Trying to fatten up before a long winter sleep, looking for easy calories as their bodies store whatever extra fat they can to live off of during hibernation.

There has been a great deal of bear activity in and around Golden this fall, and with the Kokanee returning to the rivers to spawn we can expect to find them sticking around for this natural food source which is high in protein.  There are many other natural food sources for bears skirting the Town of Golden and within town limits that bears often search out as well, including; Mountain Ash trees, Oregon Grapes, Red Osier Dogwood, several berry types (including Saskatoon, Thimble, Salmon, Buffalo, and more!), ground squirrels, sap wood and other natural food sources.

Unfortunately, bears often follow these foods into town where they become caught in a web of unnatural bear foods: garbage, pet foods, domestic fruit trees, birdfeeders, and others.  The sad reality is that these bears often end up dead as safety becomes an issue for people in the community dealing with a bear that thinks of humans as food providers.  In a period of one week, three black bears were recently destroyed in Golden after people had been careless with their garbage combined with not harvesting fruit trees.

Golden’s Bear Aware Community Coordinator Sadie Parr states:

“Many people go out of their way to tell me that they have picked their fruit tree or changed their ways to keep garbage secure from bears.  However, some people do not want to accept the responsibility of ensuring that their property is attractant free.  We really need to work together as a community so the efforts of most people are not wasted by the few who are reluctant to change.”

There is another month ahead of us where bears will still be roaming the valley bottoms to find the most nutritious and easily digestible foods.  Bear Aware reminds people that the bears will not change their need to find food, but if there is none available to them they will most likely keep moving in search of it.  The goal is to make Golden “porous” to bears, so that they can still travel through without being ensnared into a web of human attractants.  This will help to keep bears wild and the Town of Golden safe.

Call 1-877-952-7277 to report a bear sighting in a residential area, property damage or wildlife conflict.  To learn more about managing attractants, visit or contact Sadie Parr : email, phone 250-290-1222.

Bear Aware gratefully acknowledges the financial support of Columbia Basin Trust, a regional corporation created to deliver social, economic, and environmental benefits for residents of the Columbia Basin.  Bear Aware would also like to thank its sponsors: the B.C. Conservation Foundation, the B.C. Ministry of Environment, and the Town of Golden.


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