Please, let’s stop feeding the bears

The BC wilderness is phenomenal. Every time I turn around, it seems like there are more and more people who want to be out there enjoying it.

Which is awesome.

But please, please, learn how to be responsible in the wilderness. The wilderness is a dangerous place. (Personally, I think it is less dangerous than the city, but it is a different kind of danger).

If you get injured, there is no 911 call (there probably isn’t even cell phone service). We have amazing¬†volunteer search and rescue teams, but don’t expect them to be there to pluck you off the mountain as soon as trouble comes your way.

Be very, very careful with fires. Make sure they are out completely (that means being able to put your hand in the ash), don’t light one during a fire ban, and please dispose of your cigarette butts carefully! We don’t wan’t a repeat of the 2015 Elaho and Pemberton fires.

And please stop feeding the bears!

Bears are foragers that will eat pretty much anything. That apple core you tossed because, “oh well, it will decompose” smells like a delicious snack – from a mile away. Your cooler that you hid in the bushes? An all you can eat buffet! If a bear can tear open a vehicle, what makes you think that a cooler (or a tent) will provide any more protection?

Bears are smart. If a bear finds food in a campground, it’s going to come back again looking for more. After all, who turns down a free meal?

Not this bear. He was shot because he found a wonderful source of food at the Garibaldi Lake campground and lost his natural fear of humans.

Not these bears. Not only did they figure out that people means food, they figured out that if they charge you you will drop it!

Once upon a time, I was worried about bear encounters in remote areas. Not anymore. Bears in remote areas are typically reclusive. What I’m afraid of is hiking and camping in areas where lots of people hang out (like our beautiful provincial parks – or even our neighbourhood parks) because invariably there will be at least a few people who don’t know (or don’t care) about putting their food and garbage away securely.