COs Busy With Bears and Enforcing Off Road Vehicle Act
Prince George, B.C.- It’s a busy time for Conservation Officers dealing with calls about bears says Chris Doyle, Deputy Chief of the Conservation Officer Service ” Bears are emerging from their dens across the province and they are hungry and searching for food.” He says the Conservation Office is already receiving complaints about bears in conflict. Garbage continues to be a strong attractant for bears and Doyle reminds residents and businesses to do their part to prevent bear-human conflict “by containing garbage and other attractants in bear proof containers or buildings. It’s an offense under the BC Wildlife Act to negligently store attractants that may attract dangerous wildlife. It’s also an offense to feed dangerous wildlife.”
Bears may be chowing down on vegetation that is alongside busy roadways says Doyle and that creates a hazard for humans and bears “This creates ‘bear jams’ where we see a large number of vehicles stopping for the motorists to look at the bears. These ‘bear jams’ are hazardous for the motorists as well as the bears. Bears are often approached, or fed, and they also, at times, will dart out into traffic and at times get struck by motor vehicles. So we are reminding motorists not to stop on busy highways to view bears and of course, to never approach or feed a bear.”
Doyle says COs have been enforcing the Off Road Vehicle Act across the province and numerous charges and warnings have been issued.
“Some common violations include operating unregistered snowmobiles and ATVs, failing to display registration as well as operating ORVs without helmets” says Doyle.
Doyle says recently , six snowmobilers were charged with operating snowmobiles in the Callaghan Conservancy , a protected area near Whistler. “The violators were located during a multi agency patrol involving the COS, Natural Resource Officer and a B.C. Parks Ranger.”