Grizzly spotted on popular Rossland hiking trail

Wildsafe BC is asking bikers and hikers to avoid trails around the Neptune Creek area for the next month.

  • Jun. 5, 2014 6:00 p.m.

A Rossland/Trail Wildsafe BC coordinator is asking mountain bikers and hikers to refrain from their regular trails around the Neptune Creek area for at least a month to allow enough time for a grizzly bear family to make their way to higher grounds.

Sharon Wieder said she’s had several calls from residents who’ve spotted a sow and cubs while enjoying popular mountain bike trails Larch Ridge, Monte Cola and COG or making use of Black Jack’s trail system toward the Biathlon Range.

“I would say probably over the last three years the reports of grizzlies up there have been increasing, particularly more up toward Nancy Greene Lake but the grizzlies have a huge range and if there is an increase in population and there are more females coming in then obviously they’re going to be moving around a little bit to stake out their own territory,” she said.

“They (those who’ve spotted the bears) think it’s a grizzly from the way it looks and it’s not uncommon for them to be in that area, which is why it wouldn’t surprise me,” she added. “But cinnamon coloured black bears and grizzly bears can often look really similar.”

The description of “the typical face shape to the hunch on the back” is enough confirmation for Wieder to alert those who use these systems.

Unlike the black bear, which will send its cubs up a tree and guard from the base, grizzlies tend to stand their ground in open areas which causes them to potentially act more aggressive while defending their young, she explained.

“Mountain bikers move pretty fast through the trails, they don’t tend to make a lot of noise so the bears don’t necessarily know that they’re coming and if you surprise a bear, you’re more likely to get a defensive reaction than if the bear knows you’re coming and moves out of the way and you never even know that it’s there.”

In this regard, she recommends carrying bear spray on an easy accessible holster (make sure to aim for the face of the bear to hit the mucus membrane with the hot pepper oil), gearing up your bike with noise makers and or staying off the trails all together until the snow melts higher up and the bears have a chance to find new territory. She also encourages people to leave their dogs at home.

Conservation officer Blair Thin said there have been no reports through the RAPP line and there have been no grizzlies destroyed in the Rossland/Trail area in the three years he’s worked out of the Castlegar office.

“They don’t live in our fringe areas where we’re living,” he said. “We get conflicts with grizzly bears in areas such as the flats down in the Creston area, or in areas where there is more farming/ agriculture where they may come down in the spring to mow some grass and move on — they’re usually not an issue whatsoever.”

The message is to be bear aware and “advertise your presence in bear country” so you don’t catch them by surprise, he said; both simple rules that those generally using remote areas for recreational activities generally follow.

As with all wildlife encounters, residents are encouraged to call the Report All Poachers and Polluters (RAPP) line at 1877-952-7277.

 

Just Posted

Police call Appledale death a homicide

But few other details being released

Fire engulfs car on weekend

No one injured in incident

Nelson rejects plastic bag ban, opts for education and awareness

Council will collaborate with Chamber of Commerce

UPDATE: Mayor says plastic-bag ban bylaw will be delayed

Ruling throws bylaw in limbo, but Moore committed to moving forward

Nelson U-Haul shutting down

Kootenay Glass and Mirror will no longer provide the service as of July 12

‘Bad choices make good stories’: Margaret Trudeau brings her show to Just for Laughs

Trudeau says over the decades she has been suicidal, manic, depressed

UPDATE: Youth seen with gun at Nanaimo mall, suspect now in custody

Woodgrove Centre shut down during police incident

B.C. man dies from rabies after contact with Vancouver Island bat

Last known case of human rabies in B.C. was 16 years ago

Crown recommends up to two-year jail term for former Bountiful leader

Crown says sentence range should be 18 months to two years for Bountiful child removal case

B.C.-wide police efforts identify Vancouver Island robbery suspect

Warrant issued for arrest of North Vancouver man for TD Bank robbery

VIDEO: Wolf spotted swimming ashore on northern Vancouver Island

Island wolf population estimated at under 150 in 2008, says VI-Wilds

Diversity a Canadian strength, Trudeau says of Trump tweets at congresswomen

Trudeau avoided using Trump’s name when he was asked about the president’s Twitter comments

B.C. couple bring son home from Nigeria after long adoption delay

Kim and Clark Moran of Abbotsford spent almost a year waiting to finalize adoption of Ayo, 3

Garneau ‘disappointed’ in airlines’ move against new passenger bill of rights

New rules codified compensation for lost luggage, overbooked flights

Most Read