A new bylaw in Invermere will hopefully be used to educate people about the dangers involved with wildlife being encouraged to live in the town, according to the members of the District of Invermere council.
Bylaw number 1426 states “A bylaw to prohibit the feeding of deer and control of wildlife attractants.”
The debate over what to do about the numerous deer living in the town has sparked controversy with people voicing their opinions on both sides of the issue.
With a new bylaw in place it is hoped that people will realize that intentionally feeding the animals is not something residents should be doing.
In the bylaw it explains that no person should provide deer with food either directly or by leaving, or placing in, on or about land, or premises, food, food waste or any other material that is or is likely to be attractive to deer for the purpose of feeding deer.
Council felt it is important for residents to realize this is a safety issue.
“Safety has to be a concern and people need to be aware of the wildlife in the area,” said District of Invermere Mayor Gerry Taft.
He went on to explain that like the Bear Aware program, people need to see the problems that can be caused by attracting wildlife into town. Councillor Bob Campsall said he has received strong comment from people on the street on both sides of the issue.
“People who have talked to me, some screaming on one side of the issue and some on the other. This is not meant to be some draconian type of legislation to ruin peoples lives or divide the community. It is to provide a solution and have all of us work together,” Campsall said.
One issue that was discussed was the time that people can put out their garbage in the morning. Under the bylaw “All domestic refuse cannot be placed for curbside pick-up prior to 8:00 a.m. of the property’s regularly scheduled garbage pick-up day.”
Some councillors worried that people who go to work before this time would be fined repeatedly. Taft said that although it states in the bylaw that people could be liable to a pay a fine of no more than $10,000, a rash of tickets was not what the bylaw was about.
“It is not our intention to hand out numerous tickets. The fines are there when a problem exists,” he said.