NORTHERN ONTARIO–Ontario is proposing a pilot program that will enhance public safety while offering an effective response to nuisance bear issues in the North. Manitoulin Island does not fall under this program.
Ontario has proposed a two-year bear management pilot program in wildlife management units 13, 14, 29, 30, 36, 39, 41 and 42, all of which have reported high levels of nuisance bear activity. (Manitoulin Island’s wildlife management units are 43A, 43B and 44.) Communities in and around these units include Timmins, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Sault Ste. Marie and North Bay. A limited bear hunt open to Ontario residents only would take place from May 1 to June 15, 2014 and 2015.
Under the proposed pilot, hunting bear cubs or females with cubs would be illegal. The province will monitor and evaluate the success of this pilot project on an ongoing basis.
In order to participate, municipal councils would have to pass a resolution agreeing to opt into the program. Ontario will continue to work with municipalities on ways to limit human-bear interactions.
“We will work together as One Ontario to build a successful, compassionate and united province where everyone has the opportunity to connect, contribute and enjoy a high quality of life,” a press release from the government states.