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No bears killed in Cumberland since 2017; Wildsafe BC

An annual wrapup report prepared by Wildsafe BC says no bears were destroyed in the village over the past three years.

The report was presented to council by Cumberland Community Coordinator, Cali Barton on Monday night.

It explained that human-bear interactions within the Cumberland Program area have been decreasing.

Barton says no black bears have been destroyed in the area in 2019 and in the last three consecutive years.

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She added that despite the high number of verbal reports and evidence of black bear activity (bear scat, damaged property etc.), the number of calls received by the Conservation Officer Service’s RAPP line stayed low.

She thinks the reason for this is because people are hesitant to report bear and other wildlife sightings and because bylaw officers are doing a good job educating and enforcing the laws.

Another issue outlined in the report was residents leaving bear attractants out for the animals to get into.

Barton says a group conducted garbage tagging efforts to help limit the number of attractants left out on properties.

“As of this report, garbage tagging was carried out over 20 nights from February to November
2019 and approximately 1,800 residences were canvassed per event,” read the report. “Garbage tagging numbers remained low with an average of 3 to 4 infractions per night before collection day.”

In conclusion, she says the Village and WildSafe BC have been working in collaboration for the last two seasons on moving towards Bear Smart Community status.

Last year a Bear Hazard Assessment was completed and approved by council, a Bear Conflict Management Plan is almost complete and a plan to address changes to the Official Community Plan is also underway.

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