Golden Bear Aware
The autumn months are often the most challenging to keep bears moving through communities. The valley town of Golden is filled with people and the many things we surround ourselves with that bears take an interest in.
On October 10 and 11, Golden’s Bear Aware Community Coordinator was at APES teaching about wild bears, preventing bears from being attracted to homes, and handling bear encounters. Bear Aware program delivery begins in the spring when bears are first waking, and community coordinators work tirelessly over the summer months to get the messaging out to local residents about responsible attractant management.
By the fall, presentations, displays, media outreach, school programs, garbage raids and house visits are beginning to wind up, but locals should have no excuse for unknowingly baiting bears into residential areas and encouraging them to stick around.
In Golden, Bear Aware Community Coordinator Sadie Parr has tried to emphasize that it takes the whole community to ensure that fruit is harvested in a timely manner, garbage is stored securely, pet foods and bird feeders are taken inside while bears are awake, composts are turned, oil products are not available on site, and bears are treated with respect. Parr uses a First Nations elder saying to describe her approach when educating about bear attractants:
“We do not have to ride in the same canoe together, but we can share a waterway and arrive at a common destination.”
She believes that most people are not in favour of the needless destruction of bears, but also recognizes that people easily become lazy. Parr is hoping a provincial contest will encourage locals to keep practicing good habits as long as bears are awake.
The Provincial Bear Aware Program is running a Bear Aware October Bear Blitz! There are a few contests that Goldenites can participate in for a chance to win a crisp $50 bill. All winners are chosen by random draw, so people just have to make an entry to be eligible. Contests close at midnight on October 31. All information is on the provincial Bear Aware Facebook page www.facebook.com/bearawarebc
The 4 contests are:
1.Like us on Facebook
2.Send a fruit recipe to email@example.com
3.Fill out the colouring contest and send it in, available from facebook page
4.Send in a picture of a well-managed Bear Attractant (e.g. a fruit tree being picked, a set of garbage cans out on garbage day, a tree without a bird feeder in it).
All entries should come with an email address so the winner can be contacted and the prize can be delivered. Show the province what the town of Golden is doing to keep the community safe for people and bears!