Garbage will invite bears

Garbage is the number one attractant for bears. Throughout the Regional District, there have been numerous bear sightings in recent weeks including incidents in the West Bench community in Electoral Area “F”. In many cases, residents post the sightings on social media to help alert their neighbours.

“All bear sightings in neighbourhood areas are to be reported to the BC Conservation Officer Service,” says Electoral Area “F” Director Riley Gettens. “This helps track the location of bears in the region and minimize or prevent dangerous encounters.” The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is reminding residents in all Electoral Areas to place garbage at the curb on the day of collection only, in order to reduce wildlife conflicts. Certified wildlife resistant containers may be placed to the curb the night before. 

The following list provides tips on reducing bear conflicts:

  1. Keep your garbage secure; store it in a secure location indoors, or in a wildlife resistant container.
  2. Only put your garbage/recycling/compost out on the day of collection – never the night before.
  3. Manage your fruit trees so that fruit is picked as it ripens and no windfall accumulates.
  4. Bring bird feeders in from April to November – and when they are out, ensure that the ground beneath it is kept free of seeds.
  5. Feed pets indoors.
  6. Maintain your compost so it does not smell. Add fruit slowly. Never add meat or other animal products.
  7. Protect orchards, beehives and small livestock with a properly installed and maintained electric fence.
  8. Respect wild animals by not feeding them. Food-conditioned animals are more likely to come into conflict.
  9. Keep barbeques clean and odour-free.
  10. Report any wildlife conflicts immediately to the BC Conservation Officer Service RAPP line: 1-877-952-7277.

For further information, please visit the RDOS rural garbage collection webpage or the RDOS Wildsafe program at

For more tips on how to manage attractants and help reduce wildlife conflicts, please visit the Province of B.C. website 


Karla Kozakevich, Chair
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen

Riley Gettens, Area “F” Director
Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen


Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP)
Conservation Officer 24/7 Hotline

Erick Thompson Andrea Rendall
RDOS Communications RDOS Communications
250-490-4211 250-490-4147

Bear Aware