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Winery, bear awareness society partner to collect unwanted apples

The Northern Bear Awareness Society and Northern Lights Estate Winery are partnering again this year to turn unwanted apples – a major attractant for bears – into wine.
03 Bear map WEB
This map, provided by the B.C. Wildlife Alert Reporting Program, shows the location of reported black bear sightings in Prince George between Aug. 21 and Aug. 28.

The Northern Bear Awareness Society and Northern Lights Estate Winery are partnering again this year to turn unwanted apples – a major attractant for bears – into wine.

Residents can drop their apples off at the winery, where they will be turned into a variety of wines. A small crew of volunteers is also available to pick apples for people who aren't able to harvest them themselves.

“Every fall bears are needlessly destroyed due to human negligence," Dave Bakker of the Northern Bear Awareness Society said in a press release. "In addition to programs like these, our community needs to be mindful of all types of fruit growing in our yards as well as garbage cans and other attractants which can bring unwanted guests to our neighbourhoods.”

In addition to donating the apples, residents can also bring their unwanted to apples to Hobby Brews by Northern Lights and use them to brew their own wine.

The program began in 2015, and the partners hope to exceed a total of 100,000 pounds of apples harvested through the program.

Data released by the B.C. Wildlife Alert Reporting Program shows there have been 17 reported sightings of black bears within city limits in the last seven days.

“When bears are attracted to residential areas, not only are the residents at risk but so are the bears, many bears are killed every year because they pose a risk to the health and safety of people in the area," said Noemie Touchette, director of operations at Northern Lights Estate Winery.