The City of Rossland, British Columbia, is putting the pressure on residents to make change to curb the unnecessary killing of black bears in the community.
A Wildlife Attractant bylaw was adopted by Rossland Council at an October 3, 2023, meeting, which creates new enforcement tools for the small community situated about three hours southeast of Kelowna. This includes restrictions to make bird feeders (known bear attractants) seasonal, fallen fruit from trees be removed, and specificity on when refuse containers can be placed for pickup and when they must be removed, among other items.
According to the Rossland Telegraph, one councillor took issue with the potential removal of fruit trees; Rossland Mayor Andy Morel reportedly noted that too many residents have been unwilling to pick their fruit or keep garbage safe from wildlife.
Though the bylaw was adopted in early October, at least five bears were killed by the BC Conservation Officer Service (BCCOS) that month, directly related to attractant and feeding issues, according to a letter in the Trail Times. The Fur-Bearers’ review of black bear killings by BCCOS in the province indicate 45 bears killed between 2015 and 2022, an average of more than five per year.
The Fur-Bearers congratulate Rossland on enacting this new bylaw, and look forward to seeing its implementation and enforcement bring down the unnecessary deaths of black bears and provide opportunities for all wildlife and people to thrive together.