Provincial conservation officers have added their voice to the controversy surrounding garbage pickup in rural areas, urging the Kitimat-Stikine regional district to reconsider the plan for a mandatory service.
“Conservation officers are concerned that leaving garbage at [the] roadside in these rural areas will create a significant attractant to wildlife, specifically bears,” a letter written by conservation officer Gareth Scrivner to the regional district states.
Read out at the regional district’s Sept. 12 board meeting by another conservation officer, Dale Kluivers, the letter says the practice will “inevitably lead to conservation officers having to destroy garbage habituated bears that would otherwise have remained as wild animals.”
“Currently there are relatively few problem bear issues in these areas, largely due to the secure storage of garbage,” the letter states.
“However, with mandatory garbage collection, residents in these rural areas surrounded by bear habitat are being forced to store their garbage [unsecurely].”
“Conservation officers are opposed to the proposed changes and strongly urge the district to consider the full implications this system will have on the local areas by creating bear problems.”
“Garbage collection creates many wildlife problems even in urban areas such as North Vancouver and Kitimat. Please do not take this service into the rural areas proposed.”
Kluivers read the letter from Scrivner during the portion of the meeting during which delegations could be heard on various matters.