Submitted by Natalie Ebsworth
WildsafeBC coordinator

WildSafeBC invites everyone in British Columbia to join us in celebrating the 6th Annual BC Goes Wild this September. September is historically a month where human-bear conflicts are at their highest. BC Goes Wild coincides with this month to bring awareness to these issues while also promoting ways we can live, work, play and grow in a wildlife country. Local WildSafeBC Community Coordinators will be hosting events in their communities, including activities such as nature walks, fruit presses, bear spray demonstrations, wildlife art, and more. No matter where you live in B.C., you can participate by entering our BC Goes Wild Photo Contest, Colouring Contest or by sharing your WildSafe activities by tagging us online #wildsafebc.

In the Columbia Valley, WildSafeBC Coordinators Natalie and Corinna will be hosting BC Goes Wild Events on Sept. 26 at Radius, Radium. This includes a scavenger hunt, WildSafe Ranger presentation for kids and a Bear Spray Clinic for adults. For more information, check out the event posting on our Facebook page or contact us at [email protected].

The BC Goes Wild Photo Contest returns this year, find details at https://wildsafebc.com/get-involved/2021-photo-contest/. Don’t wait too long, the last entries are to be submitted by Sept. 30. WildSafeBC recognizes that taking photos of wildlife can sometimes put people and wildlife at risk. As such, WildSafeBC has developed a Photography Code of Ethics that is required to be followed when submitting photos. The intent is to reduce negative impacts on wildlife that may interfere with their natural behaviours or may put people at risk if they are too close to their subjects.

We also have a colouring contest for the younger ones. Follow this link to download a choice of two colouring pages and submit before Nov. 30 for a chance to win a full set of WildSafe Ranger buttons, a WildSafeBC hat and a cheque for $50. Visit https://wildsafebc.com/get-involved/wildsafe-ranger-contest/ for more details.

Tag us through Instagram, Facebook and Twitter #wildsafebc and share with us how you live, work, play and grow in B.C. in a manner that reduces conflict with wildlife and helps keep wildlife wild and your community safe. You may be featured in our #SaturdaySpotlight where we highlight innovative and practical ways people are #WildSafe. These activities can include: securing garbage and compost indoors until the morning of collection; picking fruit prior to it being fully ripe and letting it ripen in a secure location; using a properly installed electric fence to deter wildlife from accessing attractants; keeping your pet on a leash; carrying bear spray while running, hiking and biking in wildlife country; freezing smelly items until the day of collection; taking down bird feeders while bears and rodents are most active; packing out attractants from parks and other wild places; and many more!

We can all do our part in reducing conflict with wildlife which will help keep wildlife wild and our community safe. To learn more, you can contact your local WildSafeBC Coordinator, Natalie or visit www.wildsafebc.com. 

WildSafeBC Columbia Valley is grateful for the generous support the program receives from its funders, including the district of Invermere, Radium Hot Springs, Columbia Basin Trust, the British Columbia Conservation Foundation and the Province of B.C.  If you would like to support our work, there are many ways you can get involved. Donations are always appreciated.