Anarchist Mountain Bear Group – 2021 in Review

2021 in Review

The Anarchist Mountain Bear Group has had a busy year with bears out early
in Spring and later in the Fall.
Since the Group’s inception in June of 2020, there have been many strides
made within the community. Residents have a greater understanding of
bear/ wildlife attractants, especially when it comes to garbage being left out
and not secured.
Several Anarchist Mountain residents purchased Bear Resistant Carts in a
2020 community group order. These carts were put to the test, especially in
May when bears attempted to breach the carts on five occasions. The
bear(s) were successful twice, so residents were reminded to secure (clip)
carts if left outside and more importantly, minimize odours by spraying
garbage and recycling with a bleach/water solution, plus the need to keep
carts clean.
Even if you don’t have a bear resistant cart, you can still help keep bears out
of your garbage by:
• Placing garbage and recycling out the morning of collection
• Keep odours at bay by keeping strong smelling foods frozen until put
in garbage for collection day
• Always spray garbage and recycling with a mild bleach/water solution
when it is outdoors and not secured.
Garbage at the Brake Check and Rest Stop on Hwy.3 have been problematic
due to overflow and broken garbage receptacles. Contact was made with the
Area Manager for the South Okanagan – Okanagan Shuswap District Ministry
of Transportation and Infrastructure to discuss a need for replacements. We
were elated to hear that as of this month (December) new bins were
installed and are fully bear-proof. Also, the highway maintenance company
will be monitoring garbage more closely and increasing frequency of
collection if need be.
It is an important reminder to residents that these highway garbage
receptacles are NOT intended for our regular use.
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This contributes to the overflow and garbage problems that encourage bears
and other wildlife to get food conditioned to non-natural food sources.
In May, 100 WildSafe BC brochures on bears were taken by residents which
were placed in AMCS info boxes at community mailbox locations.
In July, there was a “Living on the Land – Bear Awareness Workshop” held
and over 30 residents attended which included presentations and
demonstrations with the RDOS WildSafe BC Coordinator and local
Conservation Officer attending.
Funding ($500) was provided by a grant from the South OkanaganSimilkameen Community Foundation which helped cover some costs for the
Workshop. The funding also allowed the purchase of permanent brochure
boxes for WildSafe BC info; “Bears in Area” signs which will be posted in
areas when bears are active, branded t-shirts for group members.
A community group bear spray and holster order were also made, following
a bear spray demonstration at the July Workshop. Eskala Sports in
Penticton managed this order and gave residents a 10% discount.
The Anarchist Mountain Bear Group has a dedicated Facebook page, and the
number of followers has increased since inception in June 2020. Key posts
are also shared with another community page “Anarchist Mt/Sidley Mt
Residents”. Residents posted photos, videos, asked questions, etc. which
promoted community awareness and knowledge. As of December, we are
reaching over 200 residents per Facebook post which is an approximate 50%
increase from last year.
Three “Information Bulletins” were distributed via Facebook and uploaded to
the Anarchist Mountain Community Society web page. These bulletins
provided current info to residents about bear activity, attractants and
upcoming education events.
Since the Bear Group has begun, we have noticed a large decline in garbage
being left out and greater community awareness in this regard. Bird feeders
tend to be more of an issue, especially late into this past November and
early December, which bears were still getting into.
Committee Members
Many thanks to the hours that our Bear Group members have volunteered:
Brenda Arychuk and Debbie Dundass (Co-Chairs), Reg Forster, Suzy
Williamson and Teresa Marty. With Suzy and Teresa stepping down, we
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welcome new residents and members: Della Modin, Kyle Traynor and Bonnie
Quann.
Appreciation
The Anarchist Mountain Bear Group wishes to acknowledge the following for
their support:
• South Okanagan-Similkameen Community Foundation for the $500.00
grant.
• Anarchist Mountain Fire Department for the usage of the building for
the Living on the Land Workshop, as well, the permission to have the
information mailboxes permanently installed
• RDOS WildSafe BC Coordinator, Shelly Fiorito, for assistance and
support in community education and resources
• The BC Conservation Officer Service, specifically Sgt. James Zucchelli
and Cst. Clayton Bruin for their support and community education
• Anarchist Mountain Community Society for posting our Information
Bulletins on their web page
• To our fellow neighbours for changing habits, taking in bird feeders,
and educating themselves on how to coexist with our black bears
Conclusion
The Anarchist Mountain Bear Group was pleased to be recognized in
provincially by the WildSafeBC “Saturday Spotlight” showcase in 2020. We
believe that every community has the potential to work collaboratively so
that humans and animals may coexist in a safe and respectful manner.
Many thanks to everyone on the Mountain for doing their part so that we can
continue to enjoy living in harmony with nature as we found it.

Peter Humphrey

About AMCS

Building community involvement in the preservation and enjoyment of Anarchist Mountain's natural and cultural environment
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