Raising the bar with problem bears Up Front

By Bryden Winsby I

suspect it's a rare orchardist or grapegrower who hasn't encountered a hungry bruin (is there

another kind?) on his or her property, especially in spring and fall. Some handle the situation properly, particularly with repeat visitors, by keeping their operations free of fallen or unpicked ripe fruit and using fences to protect bee hives and such.

Other growers aren't so proactive — some to the point where they are a big part of the problem.

As Associate Editor Judie Steeves explains in this issue's cover story, not taking adequate measures to minimize conflicts with bears is actually against the law. Interviews with veteran conservation officer Ken Owens and others knowledgeable on the topic, reveal what everyone can do to avoid problems. Owens is especially enthusiastic about the use of electric fencing — economical and effective. And speaking of bears, if you'd like to get a better idea of how many of them, along with cougars, deer, bobcats, coyotes, wild sheep, rattlesnakes and other wild critters, have been spotted in your area, there's a website to tell you. Operated by the B.C. Conservation Foundation's Wildlife Alert Reporting Program (WARP), it can be found at The site indicates which and how many species have been reported province-wide or in a given location, over a selected time period. Elsewhere in this issue we've got safety in the forefront, with articles on AgSafe's Certificate of Recognition (COR) program to help prevent farm injuries, new U.S. safety rules for food imports, and how you can make sure you're on board with CanadaGAP requirements.

There's coverage of the B.C. Fruit Growers' Association and B.C. Cherry Association annual meetings, and Contributing Writer Susan McIver has another piece on industry prioneers, in this case the Gartrell family of Summerland.

On the research side, work by Dr. Tom Forge indicates that using compost and a mulch when replanting to cherries helps reduce populations of root nematodes in response to new

4 British Columbia FRUIT GROWER • Spring 2017

restrictions on use of soil fumigants. There's lots to read

about the wine and grape industry. The Okanagan's

much-varied terroir is a big reason why it doesn't really specialize in just a few wine varietals, one

of the matters that came up for explanation at this year's Women and Wine presentation in Kelowna. Among the featured speakers was Sandra Oldfield, of Tinhorn Creek Estates, who was named one of Canada’s 100 most

powerful women in the Sun Life Financial Trailbrazers and Trendsetters category of the Women’s Executive Network 2016. You'll find out why in these pages. Our resident oenological and viticultural guru, Gary Strachan, has some interesting , and detailed, things to say about good housekeeping in the vineyard and use of yeasts in the winery. Read on, and have a great spring!

Providing Canadian Grapevine Solutions ONTARIO

Wes Wiens/Tina Tourigny p. 905-984-4324

BRITISH COLUMBIA Nathan Phillips p. 250-809-6040

Alexandre Jacquel p. 905-984-4324


p. 902-740-2493


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