WildSafeBC has a new face in the Williams Lake area now that Dylan Matheson has joined the WildSafeBC program as the local community co-ordinator.
Matheson has lived in Williams Lake for about 10 years and recently graduated from the two-year Recreation Fish and Wildlife Program at Selkirk College in Castlegar.
“I moved back home for the summer, saw the position advertised in the paper, and applied,” he said. “It will be good because Williams Lake hasn’t even had a Bear Aware program in place for at least eight or nine years. It’s about time we have something in place for sure.”
Following a week-long training session at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops with WildSafe BC directors, Matheson is now about to launch a season of door-to-door campaigning, school programs, public displays and generally working with the public to help “keep wildlife wild and our communities safe.”
“I will be focusing on letting people know what our message is,” he said.
And from what he has seen in the Williams Lake area in the past, he knows people will need to be reminded to put away their garbage and pick up any fruit from trees to keep bears away when fall rolls around.
“This time of year there are some bears that come into town and the main concern is garbage looking at the calls that came in last summer,” he said.
WildSafeBC has found if wildlife is kept from becoming food-conditioned or habituated to the presence of humans, then they retain their natural wariness of humans and the potential for conflict can be greatly reduced.
WildSafeBC provides conflict reduction advice for all types of wildlife – everything from bears, coyotes, cougars, deer, raccoons and even rattlesnakes for those communities that have them.
Matheson encourages residents to go WildSafeBC’s interactive mapping program to see where, when and why wildlife has been seen in their neighbourhood. The website is found at https://warp.wildsafebc.com/
Residents concerned about wildlife in their community or persons wishing to book Matheson for a presentation at an event can contact Matheson by either email at WilliamsLake@WildSafeBC.com or by calling 250-392-4321.
His office is located in the Williams Lake Fire Hall on South Lakeside Drive.
Matheson anticipates he’ll be at the helm until November, it all depends on how long the funding lasts.
WildSafeBC said it gratefully acknowledges the support of the Province of B.C, The City of Williams Lake, and the BC Conservation Foundation for making the position possible.