Wildlife Attractants in Banff
The Town of Banff is getting stricter with wildlife attractants in the townsite.
Council amended the Community Standards Bylaw to give more authority to administration to deal with wildlife attractants like fruit trees, garbage or other waste left on a property.
Now, every property owner must take steps to ensure wildlife do not feed on plants in their yard. If wildlife do feed on a plant or tree, they could be required to remove the tree. The Town offers free tree replacement for any property owner removing a fruit-bearing tree.
Carnivores like bears that are habituated to an easy meal can be dangerous for people and pets, and deadly for the animal if there are repeated incidents. Bears may be relocated, which results in a shorter survival rate, or conflict can result in euthanized bears.
Other animals such as deer and rabbits that are attracted to fruit also become attractants to carnivores like bears, cougars, wolves and coyotes.
Since 2019, Municipal Enforcement has recorded 102 incidents related to wildlife attractants such as garbage, food waste, recyclables, pumpkins, and fruit trees. Many wildlife incidents involve birds getting into garbage and many incidents are not officially reported by Municipal Enforcement as Parks Canada is responsible for wildlife management in the townsite.
From 2015 to 2017, the Town and Parks Canada organized a fruit tree removal program that removed at least 28 crab apple trees on 21 private properties (mostly residential). However, there are still at least 25 properties in the community with crab apple trees. The Town continues to offer 100 per cent reimbursement of costs associated with fruit tree removal and replacement, but administration is not aware of any fruit trees that have been proactively removed in the past five years.
Town staff will be visiting properties with fruit-bearing trees this month to inform them of the new regulations, and the ability to have a replacement tree at no cost.