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General News · 15th November 2020
FOCI - Sabina Leader Mense
Recent black bear activity in the Squirrel Cove area is reminding the Cortes community that we live in black bear country and need to remain diligent in our responsibilities to ensure the safety of islanders and bears.

Our 5 point primer, Learning to Live with Bears on Cortes Island, is posted in public spaces throughout the community and attached below for your reference.
Please take the time to familiarize yourselves with this information; thank you.

A young black bear in the Squirrel Cove area is challenging residents to ... REMOVE ALL ATTRACTANTS. The #1 guideline for reducing wildlife conflict with black bears is to remove anything & everything that may attract a bear to your residence.
Do not leave your 20lbs. of picked apples on your porch or any unpicked apples under your trees, place nothing in your garbage or recycling that smells of food, pick the last of your veges from your garden, maintain an odour free compost and secure your livestock by day and night.
Bears climb fences of any height; only electric fences stop bears.
Bear paws are unbelievably dexterous and can open any chicken coop latch; believe it!

Most importantly... remember that this black bear has an INSATIABLE APPETITE (~20,000 calories per day) as he prepares for winter. On top of all the chum salmon this black bear is feeding on from Basil Creek, he will wander from the creek and look for more! Please... do not inadvertently provide this bear with any other food; a fed bear is a dead bear.

Always remember… that if you encounter a bear, DO NOT RUN; back up slowly, speaking in a loud but low voice; give the bear space and DO NOT make eye contact.

Wildsafe BC is a provincial organization mandated to educate the BC public on wildlife coexistence; their mantra is, “Keeping wildlife wild and communities safe.” COMPREHENSIVE information on black bears can be found on their website at , which complements our bear primer by providing the necessary detail to explain the who, what, where ,when, why and how of the 5 points of critical information summarized into actions in the primer.

Please continue to report routine sightings of black bear and wolves to the Friends of Cortes Island Society (FOCI) at 250 935 0087 or FOCI is engaged in research to identify wildlife corridors across the Cortes Island landscape, to enhance wildlife coexistence.
Encounters of concern are to be reported directly to the COS at 1 877 952 RAPP (7277).

FOCI’s Wildlife Coexistence team will be offering community workshops this winter on electric fencing, composting with biochar and zero windfall solutions. FOCI will be teaming up with the Linnaea Farm Society to empower local farmers with the tools needed for successful wildlife coexistence. Let us know if you are interested.
THANK YOU… for acknowledging that Cortes Island IS black bear country and taking on the associated responsibilities.