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bear eating applesJoin us for our WildsafeBC/Wildsight Open House Event on Saturday September 20 at the Wildsight Office on 891 2nd Avenue in Fernie between 10 and 2. The Electric fencing workshop will be at 11. Workshop leader Gillian Sanders has helped to install more than 90 electric fences to successfully protect livestock and/or fruit trees from both black and grizzly bears. Correctly installed and maintained electric fencing provides a cost-effective and easy solution to prevent or stop bear conflicts. This workshop will discuss different e-fencing designs for permanent and temporary fences that can be adapted to your particular needs.

Also happening, apple pressing (bring your own elk valley apples and containers for freshly pressed juice), wildlife safety talk at 1:15, get hands on experience using inert bear spray, food preservation, worm composting and much more…Entry is by donation.

For more information contact fernie@wildsafebc.com

Join us on Saturday September 20th for our WildsafeBC/Wildsight Open House Event between 10 and 2 at the Wildsight Office on 891 2nd Avenue in Fernie. The Wildlife Safety talk will be at 1:15. Come and get hands on experience using inert bear spray. Also happening, Electric Fencing workshop at 11am, apple pressing (bring your Elk Valley apples and containers for your own fresh apple juice), worm composting demo’s, food preservation and much more. Entry is by donation.

What is bear spray and how does it work?

There’s no substitute for appropriate conduct in bear country. Bear spray should only be relied on as a last resort. Most human- bear encounters are typically resolved without the use of bear spray. Ensure your bear spray is not expired, read manufacturer’s instructions prior to use, carry it in a holster on your belt ready to use, not in the bottom of your backpack!

What is it?

Oleoresin capsicum (abbreviated O.C.) is the oily mixture produced when the burning compounds that naturally occur in hot red peppers are extracted. Oleoresin is the oily extract obtained from a plant. Capsicum is the Latin word for pepper and is the taxonomic designation for all hot peppers used for seasoning. Capsicum literally means “pepper extract from oil”. When habaneras (fiery hot), jalapenos (moderately hot), or even bell peppers (not hot) are finely ground, this pepper slurry is mixed with vegetable oil to make oleoresin capsicum.
O.C. is comprised primarily of:
• carotenoids: the red pigments found in many vegetables
• vegetable oils
• Capsaicinoids: the compounds responsible for pungency. There are over 25 capsaicinoid compounds found in O.C. but only three are considered active ingredients. These three are responsible for the “heat” or pungency of the solution.
How does bear spray deter bears?
Capsaicin elicits an intense burning sensation when it comes in contact with skin. It causes pain receptors to send the same impulses to the brain as those generated by burning heat. What makes bear pepper spray an effective defence weapon is the effect it has on mucous membranes—primarily those of the eyes, nose and lungs. Capsaicin immediately causes these tissues to swell causing nearly total, yet temporary loss of sight and severe restriction of breathing. That’s why bear spray has to hit the eyes and nose of a bear to be optimally effective. It’s important that bear spray be highly aerosolized; otherwise there won’t be sufficient force to push the spray into the lungs.
Where can I buy Bear Spray?

It is available at most sport shops. Check the expiry date before purchasing. All approved bear pepper sprays have a shelf life of 3 years. Once the product has expired, do not carry it in the wilderness as a bear deterrent. Use the spray for practice to become familiar with the color, sound, pressure and reaching distance of the spray.

For more information on Wildlife safety go to http://www.wildsafebc.com

Tuesday September 16. A large cougar was seen on the road by campers at Mt Fernie Provincial Park last night. Grizzly and black bear sightings also reported throughout the trail network and in Elk Valley Communities.
cougar kit by meg2
If you encounter a Cougar:
 STAY CALM, DO NOT RUN, MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT
 Pick up small children and small pets
 LET the Cougar know you are human-NOT prey
 Make yourself as large and as mean as possible
 Use your voice in a loud and assertive manner
 Back away slowly. Never turn your back on wildlife
 If the Cougar attacks, fight back with everything that you’ve got, it is a predatory attack

Call the Conservation Officer Hotline to report any incidents 1-877-952-7277 *7277 on cell
To learn more about wildlife safety drop by our Open House event this Saturday from 10 till 2 at the Wildsight Office, 891 2nd avenue, wildlife safety, apple pressing, composting, electric fencing and much more…

For more details contact Fernie@wildsafebc.com

Monday September 15, 2014. Grizzly and black bear sightings on Fernie trails. A grizzly and cubs were seen at the base of Lazy Lizard, black bears seen at the base of Hedonism, by the waterfall at the Mt Fernie campground, by the skate park in town, Anderson road and on the dike trail in West Fernie.

Sparwood
A grizzly bear was reported killing an alpaca and going after free range chickens on Savory Road. Black bears accessing garbage on Michel Creek Road.

Elkford
A brown colored black bear, reported as a grizzly getting into garbage on Galbraith Drive, Aspen crescent and Almond Crescent.

Keep our wildlife wild and your family safe, remove attractants (garbage, clean up fruit trees and other attractants) and bears will move on. Encourage your neighbours to do the same. The end result will be a cleaner and safer neighbourhood for people and wildlife.

If you encounter a Bear: Stay Calm and do not run. Let the bear know you are human (arms out to side) and use your voice in a calm, assertive manner. Never turn your back on wildlife, back away slowly and allow the bear an escape route. Do not approach or feed wildlife.

For more information on wildlife safety go to http://www.wildsafebc.com

Friday September 12. A bear was seen by the skate park in Fernie.

Fernie is Wildlife Country

The Safest Wildlife Encounter is One Prevented

Avoid surprise encounters: Call out, clap your hands, sing or talk loudly
Look for signs of wildlife: Tracks, droppings, diggings, claw-marked trees, torn-up logs, overturned rocks and food caches.
Travel smart: Stay in groups, stay on marked trails and travel in daylight.
Do not litter: Pack it in, pack it out.
Carry bear spray: Keep it accessible and know how to use it as your last best defense.
Dog owners: keep your dogs under control. They may provoke defensive behavior in wildlife.
Cyclists: speed and quietness put you at risk for sudden encounters. Slow down and make noise.
Never Approach or Feed Wildlife
If you encounter a Bear:
 STAY CALM
 DO NOT RUN
 Let the bear know you are human (arms out to side)
 Use your voice in a calm, assertive manner.
 Back away slowly and allow the bear an escape route
 Never turn your back on wildlife
 Do not approach or feed wildlife

If you encounter a Cougar:
 STAY CALM, DO NOT RUN, MAINTAIN EYE CONTACT
 Pick up small children and small pets
 Let the Cougar know you are human-NOT prey
 Make yourself as large and as mean as possible
 Use your voice in a loud and assertive manner
 Back away slowly. Never turn your back on wildlife
 If the Cougar attacks, fight back with everything that you’ve got, it is a predatory attack
Never Approach or Feed Wildlife
Report human/wildlife conflict to 1-877-952-7277(RAPP) or #7277 on cell.

For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict visit http://www.wildsafebc.com

Monday September 8 wildlife update
Fernie
A sow and cub has been seen at the Phat Bastard trial head on Burma road, bear sightings also reported on Anderson and Stevenson roads.

Sparwood
A cougar was seen by the Catholic Church on Red Cedar Drive.

Elkford
Bear sightings reported on Alpine Drive, Fording Drive, Elk Street, Ash Crescent, Balmer Crescent, Galbraith Drive, Natal road and by the campground.

South Country
Bear sightings reported in Galloway, Tie Lakeshore road and Rosen Lake road

Bear season is here

Where and how we “LIVE” is one of the greatest opportunities and challenges for reducing human-wildlife conflict. Our homes and yards are where we spent the bulk of our time and it is here that we are most protective of ‘our’ space. It is also where we create so many attractants and opportunities for wildlife to get into conflict with us.White bears Kristy Anonson 7For some species it is just a matter of removing the attractant – such as securing our garbage from bears. For other species it is much more complicated, especially for animals like deer where your whole yard becomes an attractant: if it is vegetation and a deer is hungry enough, it’ll probably eat it.

A general approach to wildlife conflicts is to ask yourself, Is there something that is bringing wildlife into my living space? Food (garbage fruit trees compost, bird seed, pet food). Is it shelter, does my landscaping provide cover for the animal? Maybe your yard is in the path or a travel route for bears – is there opportunity to accommodate the well-behaved traveller or is fencing needed?

Understanding of how wildlife can shift from being something nice to see or experience to something that is a real threat to human safety and/or property is not always easy. Hindsight usually lets us see when the wildlife became a problem but by then it is often too late. Your best strategy is to think about what the long term outcomes could be from your present interactions with wildlife.

For more information on preventing human/wildlife conflict go to http://www.wildsafebc.com

Drop by the Wildsight Office at 891 2nd Avenue in Fernie between 10 and 2 on September 20 for our WildsafeBC Open House event: wildlife safety, get hands on experience using inert bear spray, bring your Fernie apples to use the apple press, electric fencing workshop, how to compost indoors, food preservation, kids activities and much more.

For more information contact fernie@wildsafebc.comwildsafeBC-open-house

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