Bigger fines for attracting bears in Canmore
Published Friday, September 6, 2019 11:27AM MDT
Last Updated Friday, September 6, 2019 7:12PM MDT
Neglected fruit trees and other animal attractants left in Canmore yards will cost residents a lot more as the town searches for ways to make its yards a little less bearable.
The town raised fines from $100 to $250 in attempts to reduce human-wildlife interactions.
The town has also launched an incentive program to help mitigate the cost of fruit tree removal for Canmore residents.
"The town will pay 50 per cent of the cost of removing a tree to a maximum of $300," said Lori Rissling Wynn, Sustainability Coordinator with the Town of Canmore.
The idea is that less food (unharvested fruit) in trees and birdfeeders around town will lead animals elsewhere, reducing potentially dangerous encounters, thus ensuring that animals do not have to be re-located or killed.
They didn't have to look too far into the past to find a solid case study, either.
"On the weekend, there was a black bear relocated," said Nick De Ruyter, Program Director with Wildsmart.
"It was in some fruit trees and getting into some back areas of some of the condos," he added.
Similarly, a bear attracted by garbage in town last summer returned this year and had to be put down.
Incidents like that are what prompted the town to more than double fines.
"Not managing the fruit and attractants in your backyard could cost a bear its life," said De Ruyter.