Spring is typically the season for increased human/bear interaction. (WildsafeBC - Facebook)

Spring is typically the season for increased human/bear interaction. (WildsafeBC - Facebook)

South-Island human/wildlife interraction society expands to Campbell River

Wild Wise, based in Sooke, will now have a chapter based in Campbell River, as well

A Sooke-based environmental group has expanded to Campbell River, hoping to raise awareness and education around human/wildlife interactions.

Wild Wise, a working group based under the umbrella of the Transition Sooke Town Society, now has a Campbell River chapter being overseen by Lorna Seldon Burd. Burd and the organization’s founder, Sam Webb, presented to Campbell River city council April 26 outlining their goals and asking for the city’s support.

Webb says the organization is not a replacement or addition to the services provided by Conservation Officer Service, but instead aims to be proactive in providing education rather than reactive in providing response to interactions, although the group does both, to some extent.

“We get reports, whether from social media, conservation officers, local bylaw, district officials, letting us know about wildlife interactions that are happening in the community,” Webb says. “At this time of the year, it tends to have a lot to do with bears.”

Wild Wise then goes around and provides educational and awareness material, such as “Bear in Area” signage and going door-to-door passing out flyers, “to give them an idea of how to prevent conflict.”

They also, “pre-COVID times,” Webb says, “have booths at festivals, we have an in-school program and can basically create any kind of program around what the community needs. If there needs to be more work done in schools, we can do that. If we need something focused on deer, our volunteers can develop a deer program and deliver it to the community.”

Burd approached Webb to see what it would take to open a chapter here in Campbell River, “a few months back,” Webb says, and one of the first steps was liaising with other local organizations to see what role needed filling in this regard.

Greenways Land Trust, for example, runs regular “Bear Aware” type courses. Burd told council that in approaching them, it turns out they were very enthusiastic to have some of that role in the community taken off their plate.

RELATED: Bears take the brunt of negative human behaviour in B.C.

“I posed to Greenways whether they would like to run this type of program under their name,” Burd says. “They said they were 100 per cent behind us and will back us, but they haven’t got this in their scope right now,” adding the organization is working in collaboration with Mountainaire Avian Rescue Society (MARS) and the Pacific Salmon Foundation to see how they can fill any possible gaps in their programming or services, as well. She also asked council to forward on any other potential groups they could potentially coordinate with in order to help meet the community’s need.

“It’s nice to have people come to us proposing solutions to problems that are proactive, rather than the negative side: the ‘you can’t do this and you can’t do that’ kind of approach, so that’s appreciated,” says Coun. Charlie Cornfield. “I would suggest you reach out to the Campbell River Fish and Wildlife Association, which does the wilderness watch program up here and numerous other programs. They’re always looking for programs to help with and they have funds available.”

The Campbell River chapter doesn’t have its own website yet, but you can find out more about Wild Wise by messaging the group on their Facebook Page, Wild Wise Campbell River, or by visiting the Sooke chapter’s website, www.wildwisesooke.ca

RELATED: Bear kills Llama on Vancouver Island, prompting concerns over livestock


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Campbell RiverEnvironment

Just Posted

The City of Campbell River will purchase an automated external defibrillator (AED) for the Overdose Prevention Site after a letter from a local paramedic pointed out it doesn’t have one. Black Press File Photo
City of Campbell River to buy defibrillator for downtown Overdose Prevention Site

Local paramedic pens letter asking for city’s assistance after trying other avenues to acquire AED

Campbell River RCMP. RCMP photo
Two knife incidents reported on same day in Campbell River

Stabbing and knife fight both occured on May 13

Cash, drugs and weapons were seized by the Street Crimes Unit on May 12. Photo supplied by Campbell River RCMP
Police recover cash, drugs and weapons after arrest

18-year-old arrested in Willow Point Park for drug trafficking

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

A vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is seen at a mass COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Calgary, Alta., Thursday, April 22, 2021. Dr. Ben Chan remembers hearing the preliminary reports back in March of blood clots appearing in a handful of European recipients of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Science on COVID, VITT constantly changing: A look at how doctors keep up

While VITT can represent challenges as a novel disorder, blood clots themselves are not new

Poached trees that were taken recently on Vancouver Island in the Mount Prevost area near Cowichan, B.C. are shown on Sunday, May 10, 2021. Big trees, small trees, dead trees, softwoods and hardwoods have all become valuable targets of tree poachers in British Columbia as timber prices hit record levels. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jen Osborne.
Tree poaching from public forests increasing in B.C. as lumber hits record prices

Prices for B.C. softwood lumber reached $1,600 for 1,000 board feet compared with about $300 a year ago

The warm weather means time for a camping trip, or at least an excursion into nature. How much do you know about camps and camping-related facts? (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
QUIZ: Are you ready to go camping?

How many camp and camping-related questions can you answer?

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Most Read