bear task team 

Non-lethal bear management kits, three new committees and a renewed focus on education. Whistler’s Black Bear Task Team has formed three committees to determine objectives and set a work schedule for this year. One committee will continue to work on efforts to bear-proof Whistler’s garbage, continuing to replace both commercial and pedestrian garbage containers. The Bear-Proofing Committee will continue to work to improve the design of commercial bear bins, as a lighter, more user-friendly lid is in the works. The committee also hopes to have the resort’s garbage bylaw updated to help ensure all garbage is kept in a bear-proof manner. A second committee will implement a pilot program to give police and conservation officers more non-lethal options for bear management. Black Bear Task Team co-chair and municipal environmental engineer, Brian Barnett, has approved the purchase of 11-bear management kits for Whistler police and local conservation officers. The kits cost $440 each. An additional $3,500 has been budgeted for two-days of training, which will be done at Squamish’s shooting range. The third committee has the largest workload and can use some more volunteer help. The Education Committee will continue to implement recommendations from the BBTT’s report and find new methods to get the message to tourists and residents. The committee will be working with new members from the Whistler Resort Association and the Chamber of Commerce to raise bear awareness in the resort’s business community. They will be talking with school officials to try to create an education curriculum for students in the Whistler school system. For more information call Brian Barnett at 932-5535, or Sylvia Dolson, 905-6342.

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