WildSafe’s Golden coordinator Johanne Lamoureux poses in front of a Bear in Area sign in 2019. WildSafe is emphasising proper 
garbage disposal to limit wildlife attractants. (Contributed)

WildSafe’s Golden coordinator Johanne Lamoureux poses in front of a Bear in Area sign in 2019. WildSafe is emphasising proper garbage disposal to limit wildlife attractants. (Contributed)

WildSafe Golden returns for 2020 season

Programming will be offered online and in compliance with health authorities recommendations

The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC.

While the COVID-19 pandemic may be keeping many at home, the bears and other wildlife that also call the Columbia Valley home are still out and about.

Led by coordinator Johanne Lamoureux, the Golden branch of WildSafe will continue to deliver modified programming, in compliance with recommendations from the B.C. health authorities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lamoureux will be working hard to reach out to community residents in new and innovative ways that maintain physical distancing and safety for the community.

“Essentially, we’re going to continue to deliver our program to the best of our abilities, with some adaptations of course,” said Lamoureux.

“It’s definitely a challenging year, but I’m excited to see how we’ll adapt.”

From April to the end of November 2020, Lamoureux will be involved in a number of WildSafeBC modified program initiatives including door-to-door information delivery campaigns, garbage tagging and webinar delivery of the WildSafe Ranger Program for school-aged children, and Wildlife awareness and safety education sessions.

WildSafe will continue to provide local wildlife activity news and tips as the season progresses on its Facebook page.

“We want to keep the same good quality program delivery that we’ve had in the past, while following health guidelines,” said Lamoureux.

“Just last week we were provided with training on how to adapt our presentations online.”

While normally Lamoureux would have a booth at the farmers’ market or be engaging with the public at trail heads, she’s turned her focus to garbage tagging during these socially distant times.

Lamoureux says garbage continues to be the number one attractant to wildlife across B.C.

Keeping it secured and stored can help limit wildlife interactions with people, he said

“Our goal is simply to help keep wildlife wild and keeping our communities safe,” he added.

WildSafeBC Golden is supported by a variety of funders including the Town of Golden, the Columbia Basin Trust, the British Columbia Conservation Foundation, and the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.

WildSafeBC is the provincial leader in preventing conflict with wildlife through collaboration, education and community solutions. The program is delivered by the BC Conservation Foundation in communities across the province.

For more information on how to register for these free programs, email golden@wildsafebc.com.

For further information on wildlife and how to reduce human-wildlife conflict, Lamoureux recommends visiting their website and www.wildsafebc.com for the latest tips and tricks.

Any wildlife and conflict should be reported to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.

Residents can also report sightings of bear, cougar, coyote or wolf in an urban area.

These reports are uploaded daily to WildSafeBC’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), available at www.wildsafebc.com/warp.

This program allows the public to see what wildlife has been reported in their neighbourhood and be alerted of new sightings.

Wildlife