NARAMATA–A celebration Monday in Naramata as the community reached a status that only a handful of others in this province have managed to achieve.
The village has been designated a ‘Bear Smart’ community by the Ministry of Environment.
It’s taken four years of hard work to meet six criteria outlined by the province.
Those criteria include completing a bear hazard assessment, a community management plan, incorporation of the plan into the OCP, an education component, bear proof waste management and bylaw enforcement.
The bear management plan has reduced the number of calls to the conservation service dramatically.
Conservation officers used to receive about 100 calls per year about problem bears in the Naramata area.
Since the new criteria have been adopted, the number of nuisance bear calls has dropped to just five or six annually.
The biggest change is that residents are not permitted to put out garbage before 5:00 am on the day of collection.
A number of signs will be erected throughout Naramata to let visitors know that it is a ‘Bear Smart’ community.