Revise Planning and Decision-Making Documents
Adapting policy to reflect considerations for bears and other wildlife
Once your community has finalized and adopted a Human-Bear Conflict Management Plan (HBCMP), it’s time to ensure local government officials are updating and revising community planning and decision-making documents. This provides consistency with the HBCMP and ensures the community is moving forward with initiatives to assist with the reduction of negative human-bear encounters; for example, create Development Permit Areas (DPA’s) that require new community construction and development to identify and minimize any negative impacts to the environment, wildlife habitat and wildlife corridors and which must also include the proactive management of wildlife attractants and prevention of wildlife displacement.
Keep in mind that creating an HBCMP and updating decision-making documents also reduces the potential for negative encounters with other wildlife, such as cougars, coyotes, or wolves.
For more information, refer to section 8.5 in B.C.’s Bear Smart Community Program – Background Report.
Examples of community planning and decision-making documents range from:
- Special event permits can include requirements for solid waste management plans which must adhere to local community waste and/or wildlife attractant bylaws. These requirements help to inform applicants that they are hosting an event in wildlife country and must plan accordingly Squamish Special Event Solid Waste Plan (sample)
- Similar to special event permits, filming application forms and policies can require adherence to community bylaws such as a wildlife attractant bylaw or solid waste bylaw Squamish Filming Policy & Whistler Filming Application. Additionally, ensuring community requirements are clearly stated within all communication channels e.g., municipal websites: Squamish Filming Webpage & Filming in Bear Country (Squamish), supports compliance and assists with overall efforts to minimize negative wildlife encounters.
- Growth management plans address future growth within a community or region and can be updated to include wildlife corridor identification and protection, environmental protection and wildlife proof waste management. The Squamish Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) has a regional growth strategy SLRD, refer to Goal 5: Protect Natural Ecosystem Functioning pgs. 34-36.
- A municipal or regional solid waste resource management plan can include provisions for managing waste/attractants: SLRD Solid Waste refer to Section 17. Wildlife and Waste Management pg. 38 for wording that can be inserted into an existing plan or for future plan consideration.
- A community’s Official Community Plan (OCP) is the umbrella bylaw (non-regulatory) that sets out the priorities for the community, such as protecting wildlife corridors or ensuring all waste is managed in a bear-proof manner. Refer to the District of Squamish OCP (Section 10, Natural Environment pg. 51 Wildlife Corridors and Managing Wildlife Attractants) for an example of how an OCP can be updated to align with the community’s HBCMP.
- Local governments can also use their OCP to designate areas within the community as Development Permit Areas (DPA’s). These are areas that require special considerations and any development within a DPA must go through a permitting process. Special considerations can range from protection of the environment, considerations for developing near a riparian area, protecting wildlife corridors etc. These considerations, or criteria, are identified within the community’s OCP and the regulations specific to each criterion are typically contained within the community’s zoning bylaw. For more information on DPA’s.
It’s important to link as many community planning and decision-making documents together as possible, this ensures connectivity and consistency.