Sgt. Len Butler of the Conservation Officer Service.

Sgt. Len Butler of the Conservation Officer Service.

Bear warnings could lead to fines

The Conservation Officer Service may start issuing warnings that could lead to fines if you don't remove bear attractants.

If bear complaints lead to the discovery that people are not taking responsibility for keeping bear attractants out of their property in the Cariboo region, the Conservation Officer Service may start issuing warnings that could lead to fines.

The officers have a couple of options, says Sgt. Len Butler.

The first is called a Dangerous Wildlife Protection Order (DWPO). If an officer goes to a residence to respond to a complaint about a bear or any other predator and there’s any type of attractant like garbage, fruit not picked up, and bird feeders, they will issue a DWPO.

Residents will have a certain amount of time to remove the attractant.

If they do not follow the order, the officers will return and issue a $575 violation ticket.

Bear complaints continue to flow into the conservation office, but as of Sunday evening officers have not had to put any more down.

There’ve been a sow and four cubs seen on Richard and Hodgson roads, one on South Lakeside and a little one at Scout Island that don’t seem to be causing  problems.

“This is where we live. If a bear is not feeding on attractants, they are not a problem, but for the most part every call we get people are reporting the bears are into garbage and into fruit,” Butler says, adding problems grow when bears stick around and become more than habituated — they start claiming spots and become more aggressive.

Butler has been in Williams Lake since June 2011, but says his coworker, Ken Owens, told him more bears were killed locally three years ago than there have been in 2012.

“There have been some comments made that Ken never had to kill any bears, but that’s not true. He says the bears come in a three-year cycle and three years ago they had a big influx of bears.”

Bears are always going to be something the community will have to deal with, and Butler says not having the Bear Aware program in town baffles him.

“Bear Aware can do some really good work on public education and in the schools. I don’t know why we don’t have it here — that’s a good question,” Butler says, adding there’s a really good Bear Aware program in place in Bella Coola.

“They will do the door-to-door. They will be persistent. We need that help.”

At the end of the season, Butler is going to contact the city and the head of Bear Aware and the Cariboo Regional District to see if there’s interest in establishing a program locally.

Aside from bear complaints, the conservation office is busy with hunting violation complaints and shot and left dead moose.

“We’re really busy,” Butler says.

Presently there are only two conservation officers working in the Williams Lake office; however, a third one will be arriving to fill one of the vacancies on Oct. 1.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Sandi Griffiths is the region’s new district manager of transportation for the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
New MOTI district manager takes the wheel in Williams Lake

Sandi Griffiths replaces Todd Hubner who retired recently

Mclean Silverton rides a rail in Boitanio Park - one of seven new features installed by the city this past week. (Greg Sabatino photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Snow park in Boitanio open for riding

If any users find that the park requires attention, please contact city hall at 250-392-2311

A snowfall warning has been issued for Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Black Press Media)
Snowfall warning issued for Cariboo region

Between 10 to 15 cm expected

Community Volunteer Income Tax Program (CVITP) co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor (from left) Judy Gibbons and Rajneesh Khugsal, seen here in 2020, are all ready to help people file their taxes. (Patrick Davies photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake volunteers ready to offer community income tax program

Co-ordinator Surinderpal Rathor said he has already received inquiries

Women’s Contact Society community liaison Eileen Alberton with her dogs Luigi, left, and Sami enjoys a daily walk in Big Lake. (Photo submitted)
Women’s wellness focus of International Women’s Day events in Williams Lake

In its third year, the event will be offered virtually

Abbotsford’s Kris Collins turned to TikTok out of boredom when the provincial COVID-19 lockdown began in March 2020. She now has over 23 million followers on the video app. Photo: Submitted
Internet famous: Abbotsford’s Kris Collins is a TikTok comedy queen

Collins has found surprise stardom alone with a phone

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A Vancouver restaurant owner was found guilty of violating B.C.’s Human Rights Code by discriminating against customers on the basis of their race. (Pixabay)
Vancouver restaurant owner ordered to pay $4,000 to customers after racist remark

Referring to patrons as ‘you Arabs’ constitutes discrimination under B.C.’s Human Rights Code, ruling deems

Nanaimo children’s author and illustrator Lindsay Ford’s latest book is ‘Science Girl.’ (Photo courtesy Lindsay Ford)
B.C. children’s writer encourages girls to pursue the sciences in new book

Lindsay Ford is holding a virtual launch for latest book, ‘Science Girl’

Pig races at the 145th annual Chilliwack Fair on Aug. 12, 2017. Monday, March 1, 2021 is Pig Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Feb. 28 to March 6

Pig Day, Canadian Bacon Day and Grammar Day are all coming up this week

Staff from the Marine Mammal Rescue Centre, passersby, RCMP and Nanaimo Fire Rescue carried a sick 300-kilogram steller sea lion up the steep bluff at Invermere Beach in north Nanaimo in an attempt to save the animal’s life Thursday. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Rescue Centre)
300-kilogram sea lion muscled up from B.C. beach in rescue attempt

Animal dies despite efforts of Nanaimo marine mammal rescue team, emergency personnel and bystanders

Doctors and counsellors warn of an increase in panic attacks, anxiety, depression and suicide ideas between ages 10 to 14, in Campbell River. ( Black Press file photo)
Extended pandemic feeding the anxieties of B.C.’s youth

Parents not sure what to do, urged to reach out for help

Kara Sorensen, diagnosed with lung cancer in July, says it’s important for people to view her as healthy and vibrant, rather than sick. (Photo courtesy of Karen Sorensen)
B.C. woman must seek treatment overseas for inoperable lung cancer

Fundraising page launched on Karen Sorensen’s behalf, with a goal of $250,000

Gina Adams as she works on her latest piece titled ‘Undying Love’. (Submitted photo)
‘Toothless’ the kitty inspires B.C. wood carver to break out the chainsaw

Inspired by plight of a toothless cat, Gina Adams offers proceeds from her artwork to help animals

Most Read