From now to November, WildsafeBC will be educating the public through its various programs in the community of Bella Coola. (Black Press Media file photo)

From now to November, WildsafeBC will be educating the public through its various programs in the community of Bella Coola. (Black Press Media file photo)

Bears are back, and so is WildSafeBC

Rae will be working hard to reach out to community members in new and innovative ways

WildSafeBC

Special to Coast Mountain News

WildSafeBC is the provincial leader in preventing conflict with wildlife through collaboration, education and community solutions and is delivered by the BC Conservation Foundation in communities across B.C. Rae Kokeš, has joined us this season as the new WildSafeBC Bella Coola Coordinator.

While the COVID-19 pandemic may be keeping many of us at home, that is not true for the bears and other wildlife that live nearby.

As Community Coordinator, Rae will be working hard to reach out to community members in new and innovative ways that maintain physical distancing and safety for the community.

From now to November, Rae will be involved in a number of WildSafeBC modified program initiatives including door-to-door information delivery campaigns, community booths, WildSafe Ranger Program presentations for school–aged children as well as our Wildlife Awareness and Safety Education sessions. Please email Rae for more information on how to register for these free programs.

We will continue to provide local wildlife activity news and tips as the season progresses on our local Facebook page and through local media.

Along with program delivery, Rae will be collaborating with other organizations and participating in the Bella Coola Human-bear Safety Committee.

READ MORE: Bears out and about in the valley; residents urged to secure attractants

Rae will also be facilitating a human-bear interaction survey. The survey has been designed to assist WildSafeBC and partners further understand the community’s interactions with bears, and therefore ensure that we are adopting the most relevant conflict reduction strategies for Bella Coola.

If you would like to partake in the survey and have a chance to enter for a prize draw follow our page on Facebook where a link to the online survey will be shared: www.facebook.com/WildSafeBCBellaCoola. Alternatively, if you would like to complete a paper copy of the survey please contact Rae and she will provide one to you.

We look forward to hearing from you and with your help we can reduce conflict with wildlife and keep our community safe.

For further information on wildlife and how to reduce human-wildlife conflict visit www.wildsafebc.com, follow WildSafeBC Bella Coola on Facebook, or contact Rae, at bellacoola@wildsafebc.com or 250-957-8894.

Please report wildlife in conflict to the Conservation Officer Service 24/7 at 1-877-952-7277.

Residents can also report sightings of bear, cougar, coyote or wolf in an urban area. These reports are uploaded daily to WildSafeBC’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), available at www.wildsafebc.com/warp. This program allows the public to see what wildlife has been reported in their neighbourhood and be alerted of new sightings.

WildSafeBC Bella Coola is grateful for the generous support the program receives from its funders including the Province of British Columbia and the British Columbia Conservation Foundation.

We also give thanks to the Nuxalk Nation for their support and collaboration with activities undertaken in their unceded ancestral territory.


 


greg.sabatino@wltribune.com

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