“Until he extends his circle of compassion to include all living things, man will not himself find peace.” -Albert Schweitzer
Traditionally, grizzlies spend a few weeks in our valley in early spring. This year, as the bears padded along their paths the winds blew enticing scents (perceptible to a distance of 28 kilometres), which included improperly disposed of livestock carcasses and refuse. Their walk through this valley was their shadow of death.
This spring, three grizzlies were killed (two lured by a baited snare), a fourth one at the same location left evidence of its presence, and a fifth grizzly nearby was trapped and transported.
We feel these type of events are the result of blatant mismanagement and gross negligence of livestock and refuse and disrespect and disregard for other living things. It is unacceptable and inexcusable.
Man has intruded on the bears’ environment. We must respect wildlife and ensure their survival as a crucial entity. The world grizzly population is precarious at best and quickly diminishing.
In 2011, the B.C. Wildlife Act was being amended so that the public could be ticketed and fined for “the mismanagement of attractants that could invite wildlife such as grizzly and black bears, cougars, coyotes and wolves.” This new law is in effect now and fines have been levied.
There is excellent information and assistance available to communities within our province from agencies such as ‘Bear Smart,’ ‘Bear Aware,’ the ‘Kettle-Granby Grizzly Bear Project,’ and the ;Valhalla Wilderness Society.’ There are numerous websites. www.revelstokebearaware.org is a commendable tribute to saving bears by eliminating the people problems.
Our intrusion into wildlife habitat is upsetting the critical natural system, creating unnecessary cost to taxpayers, and causing a potential safety problem to the public. We must be mindful, responsible, and held accountable for our actions and the impact it causes on wildlife and the environment.