Reduce human-bear encounters through education, cooperation and community support.
The Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee was formed in July 2011 by local resident, Lydia Koot, and in partnership with Hope Mountain Centre for Outdoor Learning. The committee was formed in response to an unusually high number of black bear encounters in the local area of Hope, British Columbia.
Our group promotes and supports the co-existence of black bears and other wildlife and Hope residents through community involvement, education and cooperation. We work with the District of Hope, Conservation Officer Service, RCMP, bear safety groups of other communities, local community organizations, local private businesses and volunteers to accomplish these objectives:
- Reduce garbage going out early
- Develop handout materials for canvassing problem areas
- Provide public education forums using various media
- Encourage bear education in schools
- Raise funds for community and education resources
- Research bear safety bylaws in various communities
- Explore options for bear resistant garbage cans
- Develop education resources, assemble a kit, develop a “look” for HMBBC
- Establish a plan for recruitment and training of volunteers
- Work with Hope District and staff, business community and fruit picking program
HMBBC encourages composting of leftover kitchen scraps (see guidelines for unacceptable items) and garden materials. Composting guidelines.
Feeding Birds – Bird feeders are near the top of the list for attracting bears. HMBBC encourages people not to leave bird feeders out when bears are around–generally mid-May through mid-November. Additional information on feeding birds without feeding bears is available at the Bear Smart website under Managing Attractants.
Electric Fencing – In special situations, electric fencing can be used to keep bears out of livestock or agricultural areas. Check Living With Predators Resource Guide for appropriate application of electric fencing produced by the Living With Wildlife Foundation and Whistler’s Get Smart Bear Society website for useful information in this area. Electric fencing restrictions apply in residential areas–check your local bylaws.
Fruit Gleaning – Fruit trees and berry-producing plants often become an attractant for hungry bears if not properly tended. Local organizations are happy to take unwanted fruit. If you are interested in the fruit gleaning program, call Lydia Koot at 604-860-4558 or use Hope Mountain Centre’s contact form leaving your contact information and comments on your fruit picking needs.
If you are interested in purchasing bear-resistant storage containers, one manufacturer–Rollins Machinery–is located in Langley, BC. For those unable to keep garbage cans in a secure, locked shed, garage or other fully-enclosed structure, instructions for the construction of a bear-resistant enclosure can be found here (6 MB download). Please note that the B.C. Conservation Officer Service recommends stronger construction for wooden bins with 4″x 4″ wood framing, 3/4″ plywood and 2.5″ to 3″ wood screws (no nails).
For additional resource information on being “bear smart,” the following websites are excellent references:
Hope’s beautiful setting nestled in mountains and surrounded by forests, streams and rivers provides natural wildlife corridors that extend into residential areas; hence, we live in black bear country and need to know how to react if we encounter a bear.
Remember the four S’s:
STAND still – Do Not Run; this may trigger
a pursuit by the bear
SPEAK calmly – yelling or screaming may
provoke the bear
SLOWLY back away – give the bear space
to leave the area
Once the bear has left the area, make sure you are not inviting it to come back. Check for any attractants on your property and remove them immediately.
When a bear is hungry and food is available, little will dissuade his appetite. So please keep “tasty” attractants in a secure place. Please also keep an eye on your bird feeders–even in winter. These pictures were taken mid-December in the Hope, BC area with a trail camera shooting nighttime pictures. The bear is consuming salmon from a late spawning run, but could easily be going after seed or suet from local bird feeders.
When a bear doesn’t find any attractants it will move on, or in winter months, find a snug den to bed down in.
Most black bears don’t want a confrontation! (YouTube video)
But, if the bear is threatening…
Call the Conservation Officer Service at 1-877-952-RAPP(7277), or local police.
The Hope Mountain Black Bear Committee is a local, not-for-profit, grass-roots group that is a committee of the Hope Mountain Centre. We operate on donations and small grants enabling our mission of bear education and human-bear conflict reduction. Please help us with tax-deductible donations by clicking on the CanadaHelps button on this page. Easy steps provide you with the opportunity to send your financial gift directly to HMBBC.
We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.
Many thanks to continuing sponsors who provide funding and in-kind donations for the development of educational materials:
Many thanks to our dedicated volunteers; we couldn’t do this without your help!
If you are interested in volunteering your time, please call Lydia Koot at 604-860-4558 or use Hope Mountain Centre’s contact form leaving your contact information and comment on how you would like to donate your time.
Events where we will have an information booth:
- Hope Health Fair
Homeowner’s Bear Safe Checklist
Bears eat to live
Bears are not the problem…
✓ Store all garbage in the house or another secure enclosure like the garage or shed. Don’t put your garbage on the curb the night before pick-up! Wash your recyclables before putting them at the curb. Freeze odorous food leftovers, like fish, turkey until pick-up day.
✓ Do not feed the birds during bear season (middle of May until the middle of November). Or make the feeders (including hummingbird feeders) inaccessible to bears.
✓ Do not feed your pets outdoors and keep pet food inside or another secure location. Think about purchasing a bear proof container, if you don’t have a secure place to store the food.
✓ Pick ripe fruit daily and cleanup windfall often. Remove fruit trees and plant non-fruit bearing trees or shrubs if the fruit is unwanted. Think about donating your unwanted fruit to the local food bank. Or phone Lydia Koot (604-860-4558) and we will come and pick your unwanted fruit.
✓ Clean Barbecues after each use, by burning grease off the grill. Store BBQs inside if possible.
✓ Turn your compost frequently and add “brown” materials. Do not put meat, fish, dairy products, unrinsed eggshells, fat, oils, or cooked foods into the compost. Cover compost with leaves and soil to reduce odours. If your compost smells rotten you’re doing something wrong!
✓ Keep Freezers and refrigerators inside. If you have no secure place for a freezer, make sure it is locked tight.