The District of North Vancouver November 8, 2001
Report to Council
Brief version of DRAFT COPY
Author: K.Bell, Section Manager-Urban Parkland
Subject: Black Bear Management
1. That the Senior Park Ranger and Parks Trail and Habitat Coordinator be designated as Deputy Conservation Officers. (these officers would be trained in Hazing of Bears and be under strictly controlled conditions)
2. That staff be asked to change the Waste Removal Bylaw in Section 6 (Waste Collection Regulations) to restrict the placement of domestic containers for pick up to no earlier than 5:00am on the collection day. (prevents food attractants being available to the bears overnight)
3. That staff be asked to draft a bylaw restricting Bear Food Attractants on residential properties (the removal of Bear Food Attractants through an information and education program and a bylaw to permit charges to be brought against those who continually place attractants on their property)
4. That funding for education, information and monitoring be made available as in 2001.($4,000 for education and $8,000 to monitor BEAR phone line as in 2001)
In 1999 over 35 black bears were killed on the North Shore (the majority in the District of North Vancouver). This persuaded a number of people that there must be a better way to approach the human-bear confrontation situation. In February 2000, a packed public meeting in the District of North Vancouver Council Chambers heard Steve Searles explain the Human Education, Bear Food Attractant Control and Bear Hazing approach being undertaken in some California communities. This type of approach is also under way in Whistler, Jasper and Kamloops (all at various stages of implementation).
The North Shore Bear Network was started as a result of the above public interest and concern. This group of provincial and municipal agencies working with local volunteers has been formulating and implementing a suitable strategy for Human Education/Information, Bear Attractant Management and Hazing of Bears in North Vancouver. This has included the District of North Vancouver Parks staff and B.E.A.R.S. (volunteer society) working together to educate and inform local residents. Activities include signs, leaflets, brochures, letters, door-to-door canvassing, talks and slide shows. The removal of food attractants also helps control rats, mice, squirrels, racoons, coyotes, skunks and cougars.
Hazing of bears by District of North Vancouver staff (Deputy Conservation Officer) would only be undertaken with the back up and support of RCMP officers on site or when assisting a provincial Conservation Officer. The bear would have to be near a greenbelt zone. No members of the public could be on the streets in the area and the officers would have to have a coordinated plan.
The above actions would be part of making the District a ‘Bear Smart’ community(Provincial Parks Initiative). While it may prove a long term goal due to the district’s ever changing human population; there is every reason to strive for this status. The resulting reduction in calls to the RCMP would save that organization both time and expense.
EXISTING POLICY AND BI-LAWS:
The District has no policy directed at the Human-Bear conflict situation. The District does not currently have bi-laws to enforce curbside garbage placement times or to control unnatural food attractants on private property.