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Proposal to apply for bear smart coordinator set for council meeting Tuesday

Port Hardy council will consider getting a bear program coordinator for the community at Tuesday’s meeting.

Chief administrative officer Heather Nelson-Smith will present a staff report, proposing that council apply for a coordinator for their Bear Smart Community program.

Bear Smart is a provincial program aiming to address the causes of human-bear conflict in the hopes of reducing human safety risks while lowering the number of bears that must be destroyed.

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In the report, Nelson-smith says that while there have been dedicated volunteers supporting the program, concerns rose after several reported conflicts caused bear destructions in early 2022.

“The concern was that without having more action on the district’s part and visible changes in human behaviour reducing these conflicts, we would potentially lose our designation,” said Nelson-Smith.

“It was recommended at that time that the district consider contacting the Wildsafe program to apply for a coordinator, one trained by the program, who would then provide support and coordination up to 400 hours from April to November to support Bear Smart activities.”

The report also adds that the district hired Sarah Salter in 2023, who is currently providing 136 hours of community service and is set to start in October of this year.

The meeting will take place on Tuesday January 23 at 7:00 p.m.

For where to watch the meeting, click here.

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