The Coexisting with Carnivores Alliance is hosting an event on Sept. 15 for people interested in learning about effective and responsible ways to reduce negative interactions with bears on their property.
There has been a significant increase of impact on farmers from bears in the Capital Regional District, especially in Sooke, Metchosin and the Highlands.
An increase in the loss of sheep and goats due to depredation, loss of bee hives and fruit and damage to fruit trees have all greatly impacted local farmers.
During the past five years, 54 bears have been killed in the region as a result of conflict with humans.
Farmers have expressed interest in finding low-cost solutions that will also minimize the killing of bears in the area. Coexisting with Carnivores Alliance aims to respond to this issue by building awareness and confidence in new tools and techniques that could help alleviate the problem.
The Coexisting with Carnivores Alliance is a non-profit organization that promotes co-existence between people, bears, cougars and wolves on southern Vancouver Island.
The alliance supports communities in reducing human-carnivore conflicts by helping find solutions and building the capacity to share the landscape with carnivores, and by promoting tolerance and appreciation of these animals.
The society has organized a workshop about the utilization of electric fencing, and noise and light deterrents to bears to provide information to local farmers impacted by bears.
Jeff Marley of Margo Supplies Ltd. leads hundreds of workshops throughout North America and has more than 30 years of experience and expertise in bear deterrents. This one-day event will build understanding of available tools appropriate for each farming situation to avoid future negative interaction with bears and protect these important creatures..
Nitya Harris, the chair of CwCA, has organized the event with long-term goals in mind.
“We hope to foster a shift from conflict to coexistence, to help farmers protect their farm and produce with minimal harm to bears,” Harris said.
The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 1.p.m. at the Metchosin Community House, 4430 Happy Valley Rd., in Metchosin.
Light snacks and refreshments will be provided. The workshop is free but space is limited, so those interested in attending should register in advance.