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Bear Smart Signage

New campaign aims to raise awareness in hikers and residents


Bright yellow signs have been popping up around the Village this week, evidence of a new campaign from the hard-working folks on the Bear Smart team. According to Bear Smart team member Penny Nelson, what you read on the sign will depend on where you are walking.


"There are two versions, one for residential neighbourhoods, the other for trailheads," says Nelson, noting that at present, there are seven signs in total. She says that while most Lions Bay residents are comfortable and informed about sharing spaces with bears, often visitors are not.


"The trailhead signs provide tips especially for hikers. Keeping dogs on leash while hiking during bear season is particularly important, because over 60% of less-than-ideal black bear encounters involve off-leash dogs."


Discarded food and beverage containers also act as attractants when left next to garbage cans.


"To get information out on the fly, the Bear Smart team has reverted to old-school methods," says Nelson. "If you see a sign in your neighbourhood, it means you need to be extra careful with attractants, keep dogs on leash and, in general, follow Bear Smart guidelines."


The Bear Smart website has recently been updated with helpful information regarding what to do if you encounter a bear.


"It's the first time we've done our own signs," says Norma Rodgers. "We'll see how they work, and modify them if needed in the future."


Rodgers, who was pivotal in bringing the Bear Smart designation to Lions Bay, says the team will continue to monitor sightings, and move the signs as reports come in.


Bear sightings can be reported at lionsbaybearsmart.ca.





Have thoughts to share about bears in the village? Leave your comments below, or email us at editor@lionsbaywatershed.ca 


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"A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear"

This is the signage at many provincial and national parks with accompanying graphics. Signs at Lions Bay trailheads should be as simple and impactful as this to be taken seriously.

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Although I think the village has always had a glut of signage, I think this is a great initiative. The more reminders we all get about our behaviour around bears, the more protected they will become.

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