Last updated 8:09AM ET
December 13, 2017
KSUT Regional
KSUT Regional
DOW Steps Up Bear Education/Enforcement
(2007-08-08)
(ksut) - HOST LEAD: A late Spring freeze in the high country that cut wildlife food sources and growing urbanization are resulting in increased Bear-Human conflicts.
And the problems expected to get worse before it gets better as bears prepare for winter.
Colorado Wildlife officials say they are going to get tough on humans who unknowingly, or otherwise, feed bears.
KSUT's Victor Locke reports.

VICTOR: Bear-Human conflicts are occuring statewide this year.
It's especially bad in Durango.
Division of Wildlife spokesman Joe Lewandowski says they are going to start a combined bear education/enforcement program using a regulation that requires you to remove bear attractants such as garbage and bird feeders.
LEWANDOWSKI: IT'S REALLY A WAY TO GET PEOPLE TO CLEAN UP THEIR TRASH, CLEAN UP THEIR GARBAGE. WE'RE GOING TO BE GOING INTO NEIGHBORHOODS WHERE THERE ARE A LOT OF BEAR PROBLEMS AND WE'RE GONNA BE TALKING TO PEOPLE AND WE'LL LOOK AT THEIR PROPERTIES, AND IF THEY'VE GOT PROBLEMS WE'LL TALK TO THEM ABOUT HOW TO KINDA CLEAN UP THE MESS, AND WE'LL GIVE THEM A WARNING TICKET IF THAT SEEMS NECESSARY THEN IF WE COME BACK AGAIN AND THERE'S STILL PROBLEMS THEN WE'LL GIVE A TICKET.
Fines range from 68 to about 200-dollars.
Lewandowski says enforcement is starting immediately.
LEWANDOWSKI: THE PROBLEM IS PROBABLY GOING TO GET WORSE. BEARS ARE BASICALLY STOMACHS, WITH BIG NOSES.
From KSUT, I'm Victor Locke.


Please, follow these simple guidelines to reduce bear conflicts:
- If a bear is in your area, take down Bird feeders;
- Clean up around bird feeders and leave no seeds on the ground.
- Put out garbage only on the day of pick-up.
- Store garbage in a secure building or bear-proof container.
- Keep garage doors closed at all times; close household doors and garden level windows when you are not home.
- Do not leave pet food or dishes outside.
- Rinse garbage and recycling containers regularly with water and ammonia.
- Pick-up fruit that falls to the ground from trees.

If you see a bear causing problems call the DOW or local law enforcement.

For more info, go to bearsmartdurango.org.
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