If I were a bear, I would really like your yard!

Unwanted attractants, such as a summer bird feeder or insecure garbage storage makes your yard attractive to bears. This endangers everyone living in this neighbourhood. Nobody wants a bear wandering where their children may be playing. This notice has been forwarded to you by one of your concerned neighbours.

The Rocky Mountains are a special place to live, but with that comes a responsibility to reduce the potential for conflicts with wild animals. Recent bear attacks have helped bring attention to the problem of wild animals being attracted to urban areas. 

Mountain communities like ours have spent extensive amounts of  time and money trying to reduce the townsites attractiveness to animals like bears. This is still not enough, and we must all take an active role in this struggle. Our goal is to keep our wild animals wild--not wandering through our community. 

What can you do?

  • Bird feeders have played a very serious role in attracting bears into mountain townsites. Take your feeder down in the summer. If you must have a feeder, wait until late November before filling it with seed, and don't forget to take it down before the bears come out in spring, usually by early March. Also, be sure to store your bird seed inside. 

  • Do not store garbage outside or in your vehicle. Pickup truck toppers are not bear proof, and we must remember that it is the smells that draw the bears to a specific location.  

  • Keep your compost free of meat and meat by-products. It is important to limit what we place in our compost heaps. Avoid placing fish, meat, bones, egg shells, dairy products or fruit into your compost. Adding some lime to your compost can also speed up the decomposition and reduce the smell.

  • Keep your barbeque clean. The smell of a juicy steak can permeate the air and attract more than envious glances from non-barbequing neighbours. These same smells can attract bears to your deck once you head to bed. When you're finished your feast, burn the food off of the grill, or at least clean the barbeque carefully. Also, if you store your barbeque outside, use a cover as this will reduce the smell emanating from it. Keeping your patio door closed when cooking indoors also helps to reduce the smell of food in the air.