TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO                                Port McNeill council met to discuss ‘bear aware’ with local conservation officer Brad Adams.

TYSON WHITNEY PHOTO Port McNeill council met to discuss ‘bear aware’ with local conservation officer Brad Adams.

Port McNeill council discusses ‘bear aware’ and what you can do to stay safe

Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams gave a presentation about being ‘bear aware’.

Following extensive renovations, the Port McNeill Community Hall reopened last Monday. To mark the completion of the remodeling, there was a regular meeting of town council held on Aug. 19.

The meeting went underway with a review of the town’s financial statements by Interim Treasurer, Bob Godwin. A copy of Mr. Godwin’s analytical review along with a set of statements are available online at http://tinyurl.com/yyw6zf4p.

Included in this agenda are the monthly departmental reports.

From there, the meeting was turned over to Port McNeill’s Conservation Officer Brad Adams, who made a presentation on ‘Bear Aware’ and what the town and citizens can do to limit encounters with bears.

Adams noted the prime reason bears and people come into conflict is through the improper care of garbage and other attractants. The onus is on us, he explained, and it is our behaviour, not the bears, which can quickly resolve many of the problems being experienced in town. The bears are doing what bears do, and as Adams pointed out, “They are quick to learn that garbage means food and will continue to come back for that food as long as it is available.”

According to Adams, the five easiest things homeowners can do to limit or avoid bear encounters are: Keep garbage in your house, garage, or shed until pickup day. Pick ripe and fallen fruit and berries from your trees and bushes on a daily basis. Don’t use your bird feeders until winter.

Burn off the grill after each use of your BBQ. And don’t leave pet food dishes outside and be sure to clean up any spillage or leftovers.

There was a question about revising garbage collection schedules during the summer bear season from the current bi-weekly schedule to a weekly one. Mayor Gaby Wickstrom noted there had been no delegations to council seeking a change, but also mentioned that Port Hardy was currently conducting a review of their waste pickup schedules.

Similar to Port McNeill, Port Hardy currently operates on an every-other-week basis and Wickstrom indicated she’d be following the outcomes of their review.

In other council news, Coun. Ryan Mitchell was appointed as a voting delegate to the 2019 Municipal Insurance of BC, AGM to be held on Sept. 24.

Council also approved the appointment of Nancy Orr and Theresa Light to a two-year term on the Port McNeill Advisory Planning Commission.

They will join current commission volunteers, Johnathan Flintoft, Matt Martin, David Mitchell, Shelly Wadden, and Jean Wheeler.

– Bill McQuarrie article

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