Maple Ridge has given a quick three readings to changes its wildlife bylaw, approving changes that include a $500 fine for not putting garbage containers indoors, while increasing the penalty, also to $500, for taking your trash out before 5 a.m.
The bylaw is part of the process the city is going through in order to receive the Bear Smart Community designation from WildSafeBC.
Council on Tuesday, also approved a higher fine for attracting wildlife, which doubles from $200 to $400, and for feeding wildlife, which jumps from $200 to $500, and tripling the fine to $300 for not removing fruit that’s fallen from a tree.
In addition, bear-resistant containers have to be used in high-conflict areas.
Last year, 13 bears were shot because they posed a threat to the public while another four were killed by motor vehicles, while there were 694 complaints about bears in Maple Ridge, said a staff report.
Yet following several night-time patrols throughout the city by BC Conservation and city bylaws staff, “it was evident,” that most residents were simply putting out their garbage the night before pickup, the report said.
Criteria for being named a Bear Smart Community include making a bear-human conflict management plan and creating a hazard assessment of the area. City documents must also be revised to reflect the plan while there also has to be a continuous education program.