By AARON WALKER
I know budget season for the County usually isn’t the most exciting time of year, but there is an important discussion coming up during the Monday night budget session. There is a budget item for bear-resistant roll carts to be provided to all residents. This is an extremely important item, as bears have been increasingly active in town throughout the years searching for the easy food sources.
Councilor Robinson has been a major advocate for bear-resistant trash bins since being elected to County Council.
Bears having access to trash bins and other easy sources of food acclimates the bears to being around and interacting with humans. This leads the bears to eventually start defending their easy food source and can make them aggressive towards humans. The phrase “A fed bear is a dead bear” exists for this precise reason.
We live in their habitat. We must learn to acclimate and live in better balance with our ecosystem without destroying it. We do not wish to incentivize bears coming into town for an easy meal. If we as a community can put a larger effort in to discouraging bears from frolicking through town looking for their next meal, then we can minimize the number of relocations/euthanizations of bears in our area. This will also serve to keep members of the community safer, as the number of human/bear interactions will decrease due to the change in food availability.
It is important that we deliver these bear-resistant carts to the entire community including White Rock. I’ve never seen a bear in White Rock, but we do not wish to incentivize bear traffic in any of our residential areas. If there is an easy food source, it will be found and exploited.
I am writing this because while campaigning for County Council, I talked to quite a few community members who have strong feelings about our local wildlife, and some of those individuals have attempted to secure these roll carts for some time now. Now is the time to email and call the County Councilors to express your feelings. If you are available Monday night at 6 p.m., public comment will likely be taken at the beginning of the meeting as well. I urge you to email, call, or show up at the budget hearing and support this budget option.
If you don’t have it, the County Council email address is email@example.com.