Manage your fruit trees and spare bears
WildSafeBC community coordinator Danica Roussy asks the residents of Cranbrook and Kimberley to take a proactive approach in deterring bears this season.
Although there is a lot of talk about bears and garbage, it is important for people to realize how much of an issue fruit trees can be if they are not cared for with wildlife in mind.
Once a bear gets a reward from a fruit tree, they will return to the tree again and again. Although fruit might seem like a natural food source for these bears, fruit in our backyards leads to habituation of wildlife – something that is dangerous and cannot be undone.
Simple solutions to this problem include picking fruit and allowing it to ripen indoors or to pick fruit daily as it ripens. Cleaning up windfall is also very important, as is pruning trees to control growth (making them easier to harvest.) Connect with community gleaning groups to donate excess fruit or to have your fruit gleaned (picked) for you.
If you do not want your trees to produce fruit, prune the tree vigorously or spray spring blossoms with a garden hose to knock the blossoms off the tree. Even consider replacing your tree with a native, non-fruit or nut bearing variety. You can also register your tree on Wildsight’s Apple Capture Tree Share Board.
Wildsight’s Apple Capture is there to help you keep up with your fruit harvest or to share it with someone who can use it. Together, we can turn a wildlife attractant into a locally sourced, nutritious food.
Please report wildlife conflicts to the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-7277. Residents can also report wildlife conflict other than bear, cougar, coyote or wolf online at WildSafeBC’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), available at www.wildsafebc.com/warp. This program allows you to see what wildlife has been reported in your neighbourhood and be alerted of new sightings.
WildSafeBC Kimberley – Cranbrook is grateful for the generous support the program receives from its funders including the City of Kimberley, the City of Cranbrook, the Regional District of East Kootenay, the Columbia Basin Trust, the British Columbia Conservation Foundation and the BC Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
WildSafeBC Kimberley – Cranbrook photo