Bear activity is expected to increase in the Whistler valley over the next few weeks, as natural food sources at higher elevations become depleted.
Due to a low berry crop on the mountains this year, many of Whistler's bears have not been able to feed as much as normal, and will need to make up for the reduced food supply, the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) said in a press release.
"During the fall, bears become extremely motivated to find food due to moving into hyperphagia - a strong urge to eat where calorie intake increases from 8,000 to 20,000 calories a day to prepare for hibernation," the release said.
Residents are asked to ensure there are no bear attractants on their property such as garbage, pet food, dirty barbecues or plants with berries on them.
Bear attractants should be reported to RMOW Bylaw Services at 606-935-8280.
To increase awareness and help mitigate potential problems, the RMOW has teamed up with the Get Bear Smart Society and the Conservation Officer Service.
An informational talk covering basic bear biology, ecology, bear attractants and more will be held at the Whistler Public Library on October 18.
For more information visit www.whistler.ca/services/environmental-stewardship/bears.
LOST LAKE PARK NORTH BRIDGE REPLACEMENT
The RMOW is in the process of replacing the 27-year-old Lost Lake Park north bridge across Fitzsimmons Creek.
The area will be closed to the public until November 30.
The public is advised to follow detour signage in the area until then.
The replacement bridge will address recommendations from the 2011 Flood Protection Maintenance of Fitzsimmons Creek report, which identified the need for a greater flow rate than the current bridge permits.
Funding for the replacement bridge will be provided in part by BC Hydro, which uses the bridge to access its transmission lines running through Lost Lake Park.
The look of the new bridge will be similar to that of the 19 Mile Creek Valley Trail bridge in Alpine Meadows.
NEW TRAFFIC LIGHT INSTALLED AT ALTA LAKE ROAD
Construction on the pedestrian-activated traffic light at the intersection of Highway 99 and Alta Lake Road is now complete.
The new light provides greater pedestrian access to the bus stop on the northbound side of Highway 99.
"The safety of road users is a priority in Whistler, particularly the safety of pedestrians and cyclists, who are the most vulnerable road users," Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden said in a press release.
"The previous situation was an issue with residents from Tamarisk and the other residential developments in the area running across Highway 99 to get to the bus stop on the other side of the highway in an area where the speed limit is 60 kilometres per hour."
The Ministry of Transportation (MOT) approved the request for the new light in December of 2013.
The project was designed and completed by the MOT.
The cost of the project was shared between the MOT and the RMOW, with the RMOW providing the majority of funding.