A black bear wandering along Robertson Crescent in Hope last summer.

A black bear wandering along Robertson Crescent in Hope last summer.

Bear attractants could lead to fines

The Conservation Officer Service will periodically be conducting residential and commercial attractant audits in area

Residents who leave garbage and other bear attractants out could soon be facing a $345 fine.

The Conservation Officer Service is stepping up enforcement in the area due to the high number of sightings and recent amendments to the B.C. Wildlife Act, which make it illegal for a person to feed or leave attractants such as food, compost and garbage accessible to dangerous wildlife. The Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee is working with the Conservation Officer Service to raise awareness about the issue in an effort to reduce human-bear conflicts.

“The goal with the new changes is to have increased compliance,” said committee chair Lydia Koot, adding that fines are being targeted at repeat offenders. “We’re starting with an education campaign now so that hopefully people are aware and still have a month or two to work on changing their habits before bear season.”

The Conservation Officer Service will periodically be conducting residential and commercial attractant audits in areas known to have human-bear conflicts starting in March.

For more information about bears, visit www.hopemountain.org or contact Koot at 604-860-4558.