Ranger Field Notes: Doing Our Part to Keep Bears Isolated, Aug. 19, 2020
Ranger Field Notes
Doing Our Part to Keep Bears Isolated
By Peter Marozas, Park Ranger
If you haven’t noticed already, the KCRMA Ranger staff has transitioned their old waste receptacles in Brannon Gearhart Park and Bradford Open Space, north Hogback and Cathy Johnson locations, with bear-resistant trash cans. These cans are to help prevent bears from becoming accustomed to consuming human food, which can lead to dangerous interactions between bears and the public.
Today, bears are sharing space with a growing human population. Curious, intelligent and very resourceful, black bears will explore all possible food sources. If they find food near homes, campgrounds, vehicles, or communities, they’ll come back for more. Bears will work hard to get the calories they need and can easily damage property, vehicles and homes. Bears that become aggressive in their pursuit of an easy meal must often be destroyed (Colorado Parks and Wildlife).
Colorado Parks and Wildlife recommend the following to help prevent bear-trash-human interactions:
- Store your trash in a bear-resistant container or enclosure, or put trash out only the morning of pickup, not the night before.
- Feed birds only when bears are hibernating.
- Bring your bird feeders in every night while bears are active (generally April through mid-November) or hang them 10 feet off the ground and 10 feet from anything bears can climb.
- Store your pet food, bird seed and livestock feed inside in a secure area.
- Lock bear-accessible doors and windows in the house, garage, car and outbuildings at night and when you leave home.
- Keep the garage door closed, even when you are home.
- Keep food, beverages, scented toiletries, candles and other attractants out of the sight, smell and reach of bears.
- Keep no food, trash, air fresheners, coolers or scented products in your car.
- Share information about bear-proofing with your neighbors and friends.
Every time we’re forced to destroy a bear, it’s not just the bear that loses. We all lose a little piece of the wildness that makes Colorado so special. So please, get the information you need and share it with your friends, neighbors and community.
If you need additional information or resources, we’re here to help (Colorado Parks and Wildlife)! You can contact CPW at 303-291-7227 or http://cpw.state.co.us/. You can also contact the KCRMA Rangers at 303-979-1876, ext. 170.