Black Bear activity is picking up in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Westerly file photo)

Black Bear activity is picking up in Tofino and Ucluelet. (Westerly file photo)

Bears feasting on spring’s bounty around Tofino and Ucluelet

Pacific Rim’s WildSafeBC coordinator urging residents to keep attractants secured

Spring has sprung and the local bear population is feasting.

Pacific Rim’s WildSafeBC coordinator Bob Hansen is urging residents to help keep those bears noshing on natural food sources by keeping their attractants, like garbage, pet food and composts, secured.

“Early in the spring, there’s such a flush of green vegetation that the bears hit really hard. There’s an opportunity right now, they’re very focused on natural foods and we want to keep that going through the rest of the season and not tempt them into conflict in our communities,” Hansen told the Westerly News. “There’s just such an abundance of that springtime green-up that they really gravitate to. Bears are active in our communities and in all of those areas where we like to get outdoors and play, so that means we really need to start off strong this spring and ensure that it stays that way: bears foraging on natural foods and not being tempted towards unnatural attractants in our backyards.”

Hansen is heading into his fourth year of helming the WildSafeBC Pacific Rim program in Tofino and Ucluelet and was thrilled to be joined by new coordinator Marianne Paquette last year who was brought in to launch the first-ever WildSafeBC Hitacu-Macoah program.

“We had some great successes with a lot of communities and were able to really build relationships for this year,” Paquette told the Westerly. “We want to keep wildlife wild and make sure that we can keep coexisting, so we want to promote coexistence through community solutions and education throughout the season…Education is such a great way to bring this message forward because people might just not be aware of certain ways they can secure their attractants and that’s what we’re here for, to bring those solutions out and make sure we can reduce conflicts.”

Both Hansen and Paquette have relaunched their annual garbage bin tagging programs in an effort to remind residents that garbage must never be put outside before the morning of pickup and are preparing to roll out a variety of initiatives this year, including a new WildSafeBC business pledge program.

“It’s a great way to engage and really work closely with local businesses,” Hansen said. “There are any number of businesses that really demonstrate their strong commitment to looking after the West Coast and the environment of the West Coast including the wildlife.”

A workshop is also being scheduled to help bring local campground owners up to speed on the BARE campsite program.

“We’re hoping to make these businesses and campgrounds safe for communities, wildlife and also their guests that are visiting,” Paquette said.

Hansen noted the region experienced an “intense” tourist season last summer and he expects similar activity this year, depending on the state of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Last year we really saw a dramatic response when COVID-19 travel restrictions were eased. All our communities saw that,” he said. “Everyone wanted to come here and enjoy the outdoors. This year, I think it’s reasonable to expect we’ll see something similar.”

He said he’s been reaching out to partners about reaching out to visitors before they arrive about how to be respectful and help protect wildlife when they’re here.

“There’s already a lot of great outreach going on, we just want to add to those efforts and hopefully avoid some of the challenges we saw with that intense visitation last year,” he said.

Anyone looking for more information about WildSafeBC, including information about funding support for electric fencing around storage sheds and chicken coops, is encouraged to reach out to Hansen or Paquette.

Hansen can be reached at pacrim@wildsafebc.com, (250) 828-2551 or through the WildSafeBC Pacific Rim Facebook page.

Paquette can be reached at hitacu-macoah@wildsafebc.com, 514-622-7317 or through the WildSafeBC Hitacu-Macoah Facebook page.

Anyone who spots a predator in town is urged to report their sighting to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277.



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

READ MORE: Bear and wolf sightings in Tofino and Ucluelet

READ MORE: Mother bear and three young cubs killed in car crash near Ucluelet

READ MORE: Behest of the West: Bear with them and set the standard

bearsTofino,uclueletWildlife

Just Posted

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Nanaimo residents on edge of city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Nanaimo artist Dave Stevens is displaying paintings inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River at Nanaimo Harbourfront Library from now until the end of fall. (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
Nanaimo writer and artist’s work goes up at Harbourfront library

Dave Stevens presents work inspired by arbutus trees and the Millstone River

The courthouse in Nanaimo. (News Bulletin file)
Nanaimo man, already in jail, found guilty of sexual abuse of sons

Man previously sentenced for sexual interference involving girl in Nanaimo

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Stuffed toys, many with donations pinned to them, are piled in the Lions Pavilion at Maffeo Sutton Park at a vigil May 31 honouring the 215 Indigenous children whose remains were discovered outside a residential school in Kamloops. (News Bulletin file photo)
Thousands donated to child and family service agency following Nanaimo vigil

Toys and money donated to Kw’umut Lelum child and family services

Members of the Department of Fisheries and Oceans’ Marine Mammal Response Program rescued an adult humpback what that was entangled in commercial fishing gear in the waters off of Entrance Island on Thursday, June 10. (Photo courtesy Marine Mammal Response Program)
Rescuers free humpback ‘anchored’ down by prawn traps near Nanaimo

Department of Fisheries and Oceans responders spend hours untangling whale

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Vancouver Island man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Frank Phillips receives a visit from his wife Rena at Nanaimo Seniors Village on their 61st wedding anniversary, March 31, 2020. Social visits have been allowed since COVID-19 vaccination has been offered in all care homes. (Nanaimo News Bulletin)
B.C. prepares mandatory vaccination for senior care homes

180 more cases of COVID-19 in B.C. Friday, one more death

A Comox Valley shellfish operator pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 in provincial court in Courtenay earlier this year. Record file photo
B.C. clam harvester fined $10,000 for Fisheries Act violations

Charges against three others were stayed in Courtenay Provincial Court

Small town residents Reed and Dusty, played by drama students Niya Irving and Cole Simpson, contemplate what brought them to a condemned park and what is keeping them there in the Dover Bay Secondary School production of ‘Bethel Park Falls.’ (Josef Jacobson/News Bulletin)
High school drama students present outdoor performance at Nanaimo’s Dover Bay

Production to be staged in school courtyard with in-person audience

Police in Nanaimo hope the public can help find Sarah Duguay so investigators can check on her well-being. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP trying to find woman who called police for help but hasn’t been located

Sarah Duguay, 40, not reported missing, but police want to check on her well-being

Beef to the pet owner who brought his puppy into the cold beer and wine store, where it promptly peed on another customer’s ankle.
Beefs & Bouquets, June 9

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Most Read