It is critically important to keep bears in the hearts and minds of the public. We are currently several bear billboards in various places in our state. This year's billboards are focused on Bear Smart.
What’s involved with being “Bear Smart?” Limiting bears’ access to attractants such as garbage, bird feeders, grills, and other food sources. Protecting pets and animals living outside is vital in areas where bears frequent. Keeping bears from human-derived foods not only helps to reduce incidents but also lowers the reproductive rate of bears. It’s a win-win.
Bears are one of the lowest reproducing mammals in North America. They breed every two years and only if their weight can sustain a pregnancy. In areas where bears do not have access to human food, it’s not unusual for bears to start breeding as late as age eleven. That’s a fantastic fact because our efforts can keep their population numbers in sync with nature and naturally low.
So what can we do? We must contain, implement, and educate. We must reduce attractants around the outside of our homes. It’s essential to invest in an excellent bear-resistant garbage can. For more bearproofing tips, visit https://tinyurl.com/Bear-Proof.
Being “Bear Smart” is a good neighbor policy. We can significantly reduce the incidence of human/bear interactions when “Bear Smart” is followed by private homeowners, businesses, campgrounds, and public policy officials.