The Regional District of North Okanagan will be asked this week to join the Wildsafe BC program.
Wildsafe Coordinator Frank Ritcey says the program has been running in the City of Vernon for some time.
“But unfortunately, a lot of the wildlife doesn’t know where the city boundaries are, so you have spillover into the surrounding area.”
Ritcey says expanding into the RDNO can help reduce the potential for human-wildlife conflict.
A local coordinator would work in the area from May to November to explain to people what they can do to reduce the potential for human – wildlife conflict.
“During that time out coordinator will do things like farmer’s markets and any special events that you have, does a lot of door-to-door canvassing and we have a school program”
There would be a cost to the regional district of a few thousand dollars, but it could be piggy-backed onto the Vernon program.
Ritcey says the program is more than just talking to people about how not to attract wildlife into urban areas.
” We also talk about general wildlife safety, so we teach people how to react properly when you meet a bear or you come across things. We even do rattlesnakes and you do have rattlesnakes in your area.”
Ritcey says deer are the one conflict species that seem to be on the rise, including aggressive deer.
He says his message to the RDNO this week will be a general outline.
“Talk about the number of calls that have been experienced in the RDNO and give them an idea of how the program runs and we do this in a lot of regional districts.”
He says the program is much more efficient when run on a regional district basis as opposed to community-by-community.
It would cost a minimum of three thousand dollars to join the program.