The lookout from a new trail to be created in the spring in Hope. (Submitted photo)

YEAR IN REVIEW: Looking back at December headlines in Hope

Hungry bears still wandering Hope neighbourhoods

December 2019

• Bears were still awake in early December, and one was shot by officials due to habituation to human environments.

This was just one of several bears that had to be killed in Hope and the surrounding area this year, all due to habituation. Conservation officers and Lydia Koot, a bear aware educator in Hope, spent much of the year urging residents to be hyper-conscious of how they store garbage, fallen tree fruit and even bird feeders.

The bear that was shot in December was killed, “because he ended up being in peoples garbage and bird feeders.”

“This is not acceptable,” Koot said. She says it’s unclear why bears are still out, but the fact that they keep finding food in backyards isn’t helping.

READ MORE: Bear killed by conservation after habituation in Hope neighbourhood

• A group in Hope called Fridays for Future has been meeting many Fridays at noon in front of the District of Hope offices.

And they weren’t about to miss the Global Strike for Climate Action on Nov. 29. Hope was one of 120 registered strikes across Canada, and Canada was one of 158 countries where registered strikes took place.

About 20 people showed up for the strike, and they will continue to meet every lunch hour.

• A report from the BC Coroner’s Service revealed that Hope’s rate of illicit drug deaths was on par with Vancouver.

Hope was listed fifth in B.C., at 49.2 deaths per 100,000 people. The actual number is 12 deaths for that time frame. It also lists that Hope’s rate of overdose related deaths is on a steady rise. From 2013-2015, it was just 4.1 per 100,000.

READ MORE: Hope’s illicit drug death rate rivals Vancouver

While Hope’s rates are rising, the study shows that the number of opioid overdose deaths are falling provincewide. It also states there have been no deaths reported in supervised consumption or drug overdose prevention sites.

• One of the top read stories of the year online was published just a few weeks ago, and it’s a positive one to end 2019.

A new hiking trail will be built in the Silver Creek area, thanks to the hard work and dedication of local volunteers who have pushed for the additional hiking opportunity.

It includes a stone garden, streams, granite outcrops, dramatic viewpoints and waterfalls. It will begin at a trailhead off Silver-Skagit Road, where a dirt road already exists. The trail will then head north and up a moderate climb that ends in a lookout over parts of Hope.

The plan for the new trail has been under the working title Dragon’s Back Trail, but is more likely to be given the Halq’eméylem place name, Kw’okw’echíwel Stl’áleqem.

Work on the new trail will likely take place in the spring and it won’t take long for the new trail to become a popular one.


 

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Kyla Neustaeter (on ledge) was among about 20 people who took part in the Fridays for Future climate action strike in Hope on Nov. 29. Jessica Peters/ The Hope Standard

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