District of Squamish Wildlife Attractant Bylaw update aims to eliminate wildlife attractants through stricter guidelines and simplified language

The District of Squamish has updated its Wildlife Attractant Bylaw to help residents better understand and eliminate the root cause of human-wildlife conflicts in our community – the availability and accessibility of wildlife attractants. The bylaw update includes three new neighbourhood attractants, stricter guidelines, simplified language, and new requirements for repairing and replacing residential tote damage – a major contributor to human-bear conflicts. 

Our location means that Squamish will always be accessed by wildlife as animals move through their territory and so it is our shared responsibility to ensure we can safely co-exist and protect the species that live here," says District of Squamish Mayor Karen Elliott. "This is an important step forward in our continued efforts to eliminate access to non-natural food sources in our neighbourhoods and give our wildlife the best chance at remaining wild.” 

The bylaw has been rewritten to clearly outline when residents can unlock and place totes for curbside collection. 

"We found that during the Bylaw Adjudication process there were a number of residents who indicated the Bylaw was unclear and therefore we simplified the wording and separated each requirement for added clarity," says District of Squamish Wildlife Educator Meg Toom. "Voluntary compliance will always be our ultimate goal, and these updates provide a more user-friendly bylaw that will support Squamish residents in their full understanding of their responsibilities in managing and securing wildlife attractants.” 

Updates to the Bylaw include:

  • Fallen fruit, including nuts, is considered an enforceable attractant regardless of how long it has been on the ground;
  • Hens must be registered in accordance with the Animal Control Bylaw;
  • Home Food Delivery items are considered an enforceable attractant and must be stored in such a way as to not attract wildlife;
  • Added language to require that any animals kept on property must be kept such that they don’t attract wildlife. This addresses animals such as rabbits, goats, pigeons and ducks;
  • Simplified Solid Waste Wildlife Proof Enclosure requirements to allow for more flexibility and Bylaw Officer discretion during the enforcement process.
  • Additional definitions and greater range for fines associated with being convicted of an offence to $5,000-$50,000.
  • The Municipal Ticket Bylaw and Notice of Enforcement Bylaw fines have been streamlined and increased. The range, based on infraction is between $230 and $500 (prior fines began at $200). The highest fine is for unregistered hens attracting wildlife. 

The District’s Wildlife Attractant Bylaw was created based on the unique needs of the community and will continue to be updated as the needs of the community change. District of Squamish Bylaw Enforcement Officers work in the community both in response to complaints and to seek voluntary bylaw compliance through education, and will be working in the coming months to ensure the public has a clear understanding of the Bylaw requirements. 

To report a Wildlife Attractant Bylaw infraction, please call 604.815.5067. To view the updated bylaw visit squamish.ca/wildlife. 

January 22, 2021

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