A good reason to clean the barbecue

Crystal Leonard's "Bear Aware" column for the week of August 10.

Invermere has gone from a high of 42 garbage bins down to 17 bins this past week — and all since Bear Aware has been tagging garbage left out overnight on the curb.  We have also noticed that there were very few bins left out that had been previously stickered. Thanks to all those who are keeping their garbage inside until the morning of collection. Our goal is to have no garbage bins out on the curb overnight by November.

Our routine door-to-door visits in Radium and Invermere have been very enjoyable. At the beginning I didn’t like knocking on doors, especially on the weekend when people are trying to get some peace and quiet from the hustle and bustle of the city. But we have been receiving very positive feedback. Most often we do our rounds during the weekend. There are more people in town on the weekends and we can remind people to bear-proof their homes or places of stay before leaving. Many people had a confused look when we mentioned cleaning their barbecue before they leave. Barbecues are a huge attractant. They have a greasy yummy smell and provide a large fat content for a bear with little effort.

The summer is going by so fast — already some fruit is ripening. Fruit must be picked on a daily basis. Never let fruit collect and rot on the ground. We have been noticing more and more fruit trees during our inspections. Bear Aware is looking for a team of volunteer fruit harvesters to pick fruit throughout the valley.

Let’s work together to prevent bears from becoming a nuisance. Please store your garbage properly and pick your fruit.

BCCF’s Bear Aware is funded by the Columbia Basin Trust, the MOE and the Communities of Invermere and Radium. To report a bear sighting or incident call the RAPP line at 1-877-952-7277. For more information on Bear Aware contact community coordinator Crystal Leonard at 250-688-151, invermere@bearaware.bc.ca or radium@bearaware.bc.ca.