Want to Get Intimate With Nature?
The Wilderness Capital of B.C. will be right up your alley!
Wildlife native to the Elk Valley include grizzly and black bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, moose, lynx, wolves, wolverines, foxes, badgers, cougars, coyote, elk and whitetail and mule deer. Unsurprisingly, living in a wilderness community means that sometimes wildlife will wander through town. Elkford’s residents often have close interactions with wildlife, including deer, elk and the occasional moose or bear.
Wildlife is Meant to Stay Wild
Please respect our wildlife by following Elkford’s Animal Responsibility Bylaw and help keep our community in harmony with nature. The animal responsibility bylaw sets rules for how residents can reduce human/wildlife conflict and mitigate our community’s impact on wildlife. This includes not feeding wildlife, eliminating animal attractants (e.g., picking the fruit from your fruit trees, composting responsibly and securely storing your garbage), as well as treating wildlife with respect.
One of the highlights of living in the Wilderness Capital of B.C. is closely coexisting with wildlife each day, and we ask you to enjoy your interactions with the wildlife from a respectful distance. The safest way to interact with wildlife is by giving ample space, keeping your dog on a leash and using a telephoto lens to photograph them when you do encounter them on the trails, streets or in your yard. Our wildlife is meant to stay wild!
*** Disclaimer: Bylaws are provided online for research and educational purposes only. The PDF documents are not official copies of our bylaws and these documents not admissible in a court of law. The District of Elkford will, in no event, be held liable or responsible for damages of any kind that arise from reference to, or use of, these bylaws online. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to request official copies for usage in a court of law. ***
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Reporting Human/Wildlife Conflict in Elkford
The RAPP Hotline is a confidential, toll-free, 24/7 tip-line manned by B.C. Conservation Officer Service. Always report all conflict with wildlife, suspected poaching and violations of fisheries, wildlife and environmental protection laws to the RAPP Hotline at 1.877.952.7277 or by completing their online form.
Please contact the RAPP Hotline at 1.877.952.7277 IMMEDIATELY to report:
- Dangerous wildlife in Elkford
- Someone harassing, feeding or deliberately injuring wildlife
- Injured or dead wildlife in Elkford
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Reporting Injured or Dead Wildlife in Elkford
Wondering what to do if you find dead or injured wildlife in Elkford? First thing’s first: call the RAPP Hotline at 1.877.952.7277.
The RAPP Hotline is always your first point of contact when reporting a dead or injured wild animal in Elkford. This number is a confidential, toll-free, 24/7 tip-line that will collect information about the wildlife you are reporting (for research and statistical purposes) and connect you with the appropriate official to help.
Once you have called and reported the injured/deceased animal, the next step you will take is dependent on a couple of different factors:
- If the animal is injured, you should speak directly to a B.C. Conservation Officer next. They will be able to advise you and inform you of what (if anything) you should do next.
- If the animal has died on your private property, in a park, greenspace or a municipal road within the boundaries of the District of Elkford, you should contact Bylaw Enforcement at 250.865.4024 or the Public Works Department at 250.865.4025 to request removal. Note that dead animals or rotting carcasses are a wildlife attractant and can become a threat to public safety, so we appreciate you calling these in!
- If the animal has died on the highway (even on the highway in town), you must call Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting LP at 1.800.665.4929 for removal. The District of Elkford does not have jurisdiction over wildlife killed on the highway, and we encourage you to contact Mainroad East Kootenay Contracting LP immediately if this animal could interfere with traffic or endanger other drivers.
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Best Practices for Staying Safe and Respecting Wildlife
Help protect yourself and local wildlife by remaining alert while outdoors, educating yourself on what to do when you encounter different types of wildlife and always taking proper precautions. Here are some tips for staying safe and respectfully interacting with the local wildlife in our wilderness paradise:
- Make noise to advertise your presence
- Carry bear spray on your belt (and know how to access it quickly and use it properly!)
- Hike, or walk, in a group whenever possible
- Always tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return
- Eliminate wildlife attractants from your yard, tent and campsite (this includes scented products, cooking utensils, dishes, coolers, toiletries, food and camp stoves) by locking them up securely in a garage, vehicle or designated food storage locker
- Keep your dog on a leash and under control
- Watch out for fresh animal tracks and fresh scat
- Avoid hiking at dawn, dusk and after dark
- Never wear earbuds or headphones while hiking or walking
- Never try to pet, feed or approach wild animals
- Avoid provoking or scaring wildlife
- Give wildlife with their young (or wildlife at an active food source, such as berry bushes or a carcass) an extra wide berth; avoid entering the area where they are situated all together, take an alternate route or a make a wide detour
For more information on how to prevent conflict with wildlife, and how to navigate encounters with specific wild animals, visit WildsafeBC.
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Stay updated on where wildlife is being sighted in/around town by using WildSafeBc’s Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP) map and following the Facebook Group: Elkford Wildlife Sightings (run by community members). Note that neither of these resources are operated by or affiliated with the District of Elkford, but both are used frequently by our residents to share knowledge, report sightings and inform others of encounters.
Have questions about Elkford’s Animal Responsibility Bylaw or need some advice on how to cohabitate peacefully with urban wildlife? New to town and have questions about obtaining a bear-resistant garbage bin, having backyard chickens or licensing your dog or cat? Contact Bylaw Enforcement at 250.865.4024 or email@example.com.
Additionally, the District of Elkford has established an Urban Wildlife Management Advisory Committee—comprised of caring citizens, elected officials and senior staff—to help guide the community toward continually improving our relationship with our urban wildlife.
Here are some helpful resources related to wildlife in Elkford and the Elk Valley region: