It’s not a bear problem, but a people problem, say Lake Cowichan residents in response to the news that, effective immediately, Lakeview Park Campground and the public beach at Lakeview are closed until further notice as a result of a bear in the area.
“The Town has closed the park and public beach due to safety concerns,” said a notice from the Town of Lake Cowichan. “BC Conservation is on site and has requested the public to stay away so that they can work to address the bear problem.”
Many are calling for more bear-proof garbage bins but Mayor Bob Day suggested on his Facebook page that they’re already there.
“This should be a reminder to all campers to store all food products safely and thoroughly clean all cooking apparatus and utensils and store safely as well,” he wrote. “All garbage should be deposited in Bear Safe containers located at the park. Let’s all be Bear Safe!”
Back in July, BC Wildlife Coordinator, Todd Carnahan, of Wildsafe BC attended town council’s Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss the current bear aware program for the Cowichan Valley.
According to the meeting’s minutes, “he reviewed the elements of the program which included public outreach and workshops to mitigate and prevent encounters between humans and wildlife.
On Sept. 6 at Lake Cowichan town council’s committee of the whole meeting, council looked at a Wildlife Attractant Bylaw Toolkit.
“I went to one of the websites recommended on WildSafe and came across this and it’s a good template for, as Councillor McGonigle stated, the next council to look at,” Day told council.
He said the document mentions special garbage can locks, fines, commercial garbage management and more.
“It’s something to consider,” Day said.