Reducing Conflict Where We Work

WildSafeBC strives to learn and to share about how we can reduce human-wildlife conflicts in all of our day-to-day activities. We must all think about how we live, work, play and grow with respect to wildlife.

Where and how we “WORK” is often problematic when it comes to reducing human-wildlife conflict. Many of us in BC have jobs that take us into wilderness or into rural environments that are home to many different types of wildlife. Unlike managing our homes, when we are at work we often have to accept that we will be coming into contact with wildlife. Our challenge is to plan for and carry out our work in such a way that we minimize the conflict between us and the wildlife we encounter.

While we have information specific to each type of wildlife that is of concern within the province, there are some general rules to follow:

1. Plan ahead. Know what type of wildlife you are apt to encounter while carrying out your job.

2. Know the wildlife’s timetable. Are they in this area year round and can you schedule your work in that area to be at a time when the wildlife won’t be there? Or is there a daily routine for the wildlife? Often mid-day is a good time to avoid many types of larger predators and conversely, dawn and dusk, are inopportune times to be in the area.

3. Wildlife avoidance is better than having to deal with wildlife directly. Whether it is bear, cougar or a defensive cow moose, it is always better to have avoided a confrontation than to have to try to survive one.

4. Take wildlife safety training. Specific knowledge about bear, cougars, rattlesnakes and other species will allow you to carry out your job safely.

5. Carry bear spray with you at all times. Bear spray is effective against all large mammals and should be your first choice as a deterrent.

Are you camping in bear country?

A forestry worker wearing a high visibility orange vest while out in the forest.