RDEK wrestling with wildlife carcass disposal

Board votes down motion to dispose wildlife carcasses in Sparwood landfill

A motion to dispose wildlife carcasses at a landfill in Sparwood was defeated during an RDEK board meeting last week in Cranbrook.

Fernie mayor Angie Qualizza tabled the motion, which would have directed the regional government to apply to the Ministry of Environment for a permit to use a Sparwood landfill for carcass disposal.

“For me, it’s about getting carcasses off the landscape and this motion isn’t suggesting that we’re going to put them into Sparwood’s dump,” said Qualizza, “it’s opening up a further discussion and review, if we do that, how can it be safe for the community?”

The motion was brought forward following concerns about carcass disposal attracting bears in the South Country and Elk Valley areas.

VIDEO: Carcass pits, rural attractants contribute to Jaffray bear conflict: biologist

The current method of roadkill disposal is to dump the carcasses in designated gravel pits. The Ministry of Transportation (MOT) allows highway contractor Mainroad to dispose of roadkill in this manner.

Carcasses are currently dumped at locations near Fort Steele, Elko and Hosmer, according to the RDEK.

A $25 tipping fee was recently waived to dispose carcasses at the Central Subregion Landfill 12 kilometres north of Cranbrook.

However, Qualizza’s motion caused pushback from other Elk Valley officials, who were concerned about site security at the Sparwood landfill and its proximity to the community.

“The challenge that we have is that just brings the bears that much closer; they’re still there. They just haven’t broken into the landfill that’s all, but they’re within one mile of town,” said David Wilks, the mayor of Sparwood.

“We have enough of a challenge as it is, as most communities do in the East Kootenay, and to have another one, in my opinion, for the District of Sparwood, is not a wise avenue.”

READ: RDEK takes steps towards reducing carcass pit use

Mike Sosnowski, the Electoral Director for Area A, noted his concerns that carcasses could serve as an attractant that would draw in more bears, much like what is already occurring near a mink farm in the Elk Valley.

Wilks added that the Sparwood landfill used to accept carcasses over 30 years ago, but stopped that practice after the bears dug their way in, and moved disposal to the Olsen Pit out near Hosmer. Currently, it only accepts construction and demolition waste.

With files from Phil McLachlan/Fernie Free Press



trevor.crawley@cranbrooktownsman.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

School threat reported; student may face charges

DTSS back to “business as usual” after online threat by student

Valley Stars on Ice

Figure skating show this Sunday, March 17th

Rite to Ride seeks to train riders in mountain presence

Devin Publicover has launched a new foundation in Invermere

VIDEO: RCMP ask kids to help name soon-to-be police dogs

13 German shepherd puppies will be born this year

No injuries, pollution in Vancouver Harbour ship collision: Transport Canada

Transportation Safety Board says it has deployed a team of investigators look into the incident

Budget 2019: Five things to watch for in the Liberals’ final fiscal blueprint

Finance Minister Bill Morneau will release the Trudeau government’s final budget on Tuesday

New concussion guidelines launched for Canada’s Olympians, Paralympians

The guidelines will be in effect at this summer’s Pan American, Parapan American Games in Lima, Peru

Alphonso Davies doubtful for Canada game against French Guiana in Vancouver

Canada will be without injured captain Scott Arfield and veteran Will Johnson

Watchdog called after man who yelled racial slurs at B.C. vigil hurt during arrest

BC RCMP say man was ‘acting suspiciously’ at prayer vigil for victims of New Zealand mosque shootings

NDP’s Jagmeet Singh steps into the House of Commons, making history

Burnaby South MP becomes first visible minority to lead a federal party in the House of Commons

‘Considerably large’ tractor tire fell and killed 3-year-old girl on B.C. farm

Delta’s deputy fire chief said crews tried to helicopter girl out after a tractor tire leaning against a barn fell onto her

Most Read