Bears & Wildlife
In urgent situations or to report an aggressive bear, please contact the Conservation Officer Service (RAPP line) at 1-877-952-7277.
Wildlife, including dangerous wildlife, such as bears, cougars and coyotes, is regulated under the provincial Wildlife Act. The District of Mission’s roles and responsibilities lie in the provision of information and promotion of co-existence and conflict prevention. The Fraser Valley Regional District has taken on a regional role in the prevention of wildlife conflicts, including those with bears, cougars and coyotes, and coordinates for the province for the provincial WildSafeBC (formerly Bear Aware) program every summer.
For more information on various wildlife species, please visit the Ministry of Environment’s Conservation Officer Service website.
To reduce flooding caused by beaver dams, the District has installed flow devices in identified trouble spots throughout the community, eliminating the need for trapping beavers. Private land owners may also make use of this effective, humane and relatively inexpensive technology.
For more information on flow devices, please visit furbearerdefenders.com
It’s a fact – bears live in our neighborhoods. While we may enjoy the occasional glimpse from a safe distance, inviting bears into our backyards can create serious hazards, both for people and for bears. With a growing bear population and residential developments advancing further into bear habitat, it is everyone’s responsibility to make sure that bears and people stay at a safe distance from each other. One person’s bad habits can create problems for a whole neighborhood. Bears that have become habituated to human smells and garbage are a hazard and are often destroyed. Help them out by not luring them into close contact with humans.
Just seeing a bear does not constitute a conflict. Bears live in the mountains behind us and make use of green spaces, and they are opportunists looking for an easy meal. Problems arise when bears become used to feeding on our garbage, compost, bird seed, pet food and unharvested fruit. Even unrinsed pop cans or a dirty barbecue can attract a bear – if it can attract rats, it can attract bears.
Prevention is key, so it is up to us to remove attractants.
- Bears account for approximately 20,000 calls to the provincial Conservation Officer Service reporting line in British Columbia every year
- Garbage is the number one attractant cited when reporting a bear
- Relocation seldom works with bears, with individuals often returning to their home territory or becoming problem bears in other communities
- Translocated wildlife often fails to adapt to its new habitat and may starve to death or be killed by other animals that already occupy that area
For more information, contact the WildSafe BC Coordinator at 604-702-5005 or please visit the following sites:
We lure bears in with an easy meal and punish them with death for accepting our invitation.
– Sylvia Dolson, Get Bear Smart Society
From June 2017 to June 2018, there were 333 calls made from Mission residents to the provincial Conservation Officer Service. Of those 333 calls, 237 were about black bears.
# of Bears Shot
Reducing Bear Attraction
Collect Ripe Fruit
Pick ripe fruit and clean up fallen fruit promptly. If you have too much fruit to deal with, the Mission Food Access Network (MFAN) coordinates the gleaning of excess fruit and vegetables from your garden. To have food gleaning volunteers assist you with a harvest, please visit the MFAN online. One third the bounty goes to you, one third goes to the pickers, and the rest goes to a local, charitable food program.
Manage Your Food Scraps
Mission encourages its residents to separate all food waste (including table scraps, bread, bones and dairy products) from garbage and set it out for curbside collection. It is important to store curbside compost containers (“Rot Pots”) inside a secure enclosure until 5:00 am on collection day, but have it at the curb by 8:00 am.
One cubic yard of Rot Pot compost is made available to residents free of charge in the spring, and additional compost can be purchased at $25 per tonne – one tonne is about two heaping pickup truck loads.
For additional information on Rot Pot’s and compost, please visit our online Composting page section.
If you prefer to keep your own backyard composter, please do your part by adhering to the following practices:
Locate your backyard composter in an open area, away from shrubs and trees
Ensure your backyard composter is actively composting by mixing the right amount of “green” and “brown” material
Never put animal products or cooked foods into your backyard composter
Immediately mix in and cover any fruit and vegetables you add to your backyard composter
Keep Pet Food Inside
Please feed your pets indoors, and do not leave pet food outside. Even bird feeders can attract a hungry bear, so remove them between April and November, and stretch piano wire at least 3 metres off the ground to hang them in the winter.
Store Your Waste Securely and Don’t Set It Out Early
Garbage, recyclables, and compost should always be stored inside a secure container or enclosure, and may only be set out between 5:00 am and 8:00 am on collection day.
If you don’t have a garage, shed or basement where you can store your curbside materials until the morning of collection, consider purchasing a Bear-Resistant Bin or building a secure enclosure. Search the internet for “wildlife resistant enclosures” for inspiration on how to go about it.
Bylaws, Fines and the Wildlife Act
There are bylaws and provincial legislation that prohibit the attraction of dangerous wildlife. The District’s Solid Waste Management Bylaw 5526-2015 contains several sections that set out how to prevent wildlife attraction.
The fine for contravening the Solid Waste Management Bylaw 5526-2015 is $250, as per Schedule 20 of the Ticket Information Bylaw 2646-1993.
Section 33.1 of the provincial Wildlife Act prohibits the attraction of dangerous wildlife by leaving attractants accessible. Fines under the Act range from $230 to $345.