BE BEAR AWARE
Remember, conflicts between bears and people are not bear problems, they are people problems, whether it’s intentional or unintentional. If people take down bird feeders and hummingbird feeders, secure their trash in a building until trash day, and manage any other attractants such as pet food, and outside grills, bears will not be rewarded.
A FED BEAR IS A DEAD BEAR!
This puts them in a perfect position to come into contact with humans if we are not being careful because they can smell food from a mile away. A bear’s sense of smell is 20X that of a bloodhound. Bears that come across bird feeders (1 feeder = 750 calories), pet food (42,000 calories per bag), or garbage being left outside, will quickly learn that those “attractants” are all a great source of calories. Bears are not hanging around people because they like us, they are hanging around because we reward them with food. The more this happens, the more we can expect human/bear conflicts. It is especially frustrating if new cubs are learning this behavior with mom because it only perpetuates the problem.
YOU CAN HELP KEEP BEARS OUT OF THE PONDEROSAThe Ponderosa Community Club is located on the edge of the Wenatchee National Forest which is home to many wild creatures. It’s the season for hungry bears to come out of hibernation. Sometimes, a bear will wander into the Ponderosa looking for food. We want to discourage the bears so they look for food elsewhere. This is a safety issue – your safety, your family’s safety, and your neighbors’ safety!
The number one reason for human/bear conflicts, according to the Department of Fish & Wildlife, is the result of irresponsibility on the part of people: humans inadvertently providing the bear (or raccoon or other animals) access to food. Some people think we can solve the problem by killing the bear, but this won’t work because if there are sources of food available, other bears will come to the Ponderosa to get the food.
Be responsible!Use the following bear management strategies around your property to prevent conflicts and to discourage the bears so they go elsewhere:
- Don’t feed bears.
- Don’t approach a bear or bear cub.
- Manage your garbage. Put garbage out shortly before the truck arrives on Monday morning and take the garbage can in Monday evening. If you need someone to put out and bring in your garbage can, that service may be available in the Ponderosa for a small fee. Please call the office (509-763-0320) to get more information.
- If you’re a part-time resident and are unable to manage your garbage, take it home with you.
- Keep garbage cans with tight-fitting lids in a shed, garage, or fenced area.
- Only plant material should be placed in compost bins.
Remove other attractants
- Remove bird feeders (suet and seed feeders), which allow residue to build up on the ground below them, from early March through November. Bears love bird seed.
- Do not feed pets outside.
- Clean barbecue grills after each use.
In 2012, a new Washington State law was enacted which prohibits persons from “negligently feeding” wild animals by leaving garbage out. The DFW officer can issue citations to those who violate the law.
For more information, go to “Living with Black Bears” from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, visit: http://wdfw.wa.gov/living/bears.html