WildSafeBC coordinator is now in place.
Grand Forks has hired a WildSafeBC coordinator for the next six months — a position dedicated to working with the city and WildSafeBC to collect information and educate the public on wildlife interactions.
The City worked with the provincial WildSafe program to hire Laurie Grant on Dec. 16 of last year.
Grant, who has lived in the area for about five years, feels the position will play an important role in improving wildlife issues in Grand Forks.
“Ultimately, we want to keep animals wild and people safe,” she said.
She applied for the job because she felt the role would be interesting and a key part in moving the city past the current deer debate. When she went through the hiring process, they asked her how much she knew about deer and how she would deal with confrontation.
It was important that whoever was hired for the WildSafe program understood that every opinion matters, regardless of the coordinator’s personal opinions.
Grant felt qualified for the position because she frequently works with the public and has a fair amount of knowledge about deer – although she said she has learned even more since taking the job.
The main focus for the program will be city deer, but WildSafe coordinators will help manage any wildlife concerns that come up within the city’s limits.
One of her main jobs will be working with the local deer committee. She is meeting with them this week to discuss some of the current issues and they will go forward from there.
Education is a critical part of her job and she will go door-to-door in different neighbourhoods to pass out documentation and talk to the public about their concerns. She will also go into the local schools and talk to children.
Another project is garbage tagging where different neighbourhoods are observed before garbage day to see who has been putting garbage out the night before. Those that do, will get a big orange sticker on their garbage and Grant will visit them the following day to talk about how this attracts wild animals.
Throughout her contract, Grant will be working closely with the conservation officer and deer committee. All the information she collects will be passed onto the city, which will then be used to make a new development plan for managing problem with an overpopulation of city deer.
For Grant, this job allows her to play a role in finding a solution to a current, ongoing problem.
“It’s a problem that is happening everywhere in North America,” she said, adding that it would be great for Grand Forks’ image if they were able to find a positive solution.
For more information or to contact Grant, check out her Facebook page or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The City of Grand Forks agreed to hire a WildSafeBC coordinator during an August council meeting to help deal with the growing population of city deer. Read this article to catch up on their resolution in August and this one to learn about their relevant December meeting.
Follow this link to find out more about how the WildSafeBC program was born from the original BearAware program.