Bear task team 

Bear proofing begins The new Bear Task Team has announced that donations and purchases of bear-proof bins is underway. The new team has announced that its goal is to minimize human-bear conflicts. To achieve that goal the task team will develop a bear management plan by next spring. Components of that management plan will include: education/awareness, signs, bylaws, bear-proof containers, the municipal landfill, and habitat enhancement and protection. Meanwhile, The Jennifer Jones Whistler Bear Foundation, as part of the Bear Task Team, is working on a project to install Hid-a-bag II garbage containers in the village that will replace the familiar cedar-fronted circular bins with the black tops. The new $1,000 bins will have a recycling component and ashtrays on top. The municipality has $8,500 left in its 1997 village maintenance budget specifically for garbage bins and will use that to buy bear-proof ones. Three of the bins will replace ones currently around municipal hall, the rest will be in village locations where bear traffic has been observed. The 1998 budget will provide a "substantial" but as yet undetermined amount for further bear proofing, the task team announcement says. Some areas of the village, such as Marketplace, are controlled by a strata corporation, rather than the municipality, and are responsible for their own bins. Responding to that, the Jennifer Jones Foundation has launched an adopt-a-bin sponsorship program to encourage businesses or regular folks to donate bins, or money for bins. Donors will be recognized with a plaque riveted to the bin. Sea to Sky Real Estate has kicked off the program with a bin donation. Whistler's Marketplace has donated another two bins. The task team is doing research of other communities and their bear-proofing steps, of companies that make the special containers, and of other places that may have bear management plans (B.C. Parks, or wildlife organizations). The task team's next meeting is Dec. 5. To get more information about donating a bear-proof bin, contact Sylvia Dobson at 905-6342.

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