The Alaska Department of Fish and Game warns residents that bears will soon be emerging from winter hibernation and will start searching for food to restore energy reserves after a long winter.
The department encourages residents to make household garbage and waste unavailable to bears. Tool sheds, garages, or other sturdy bear-proof containers should be used for storing garbage. Storage items such as garbage cans, dumpsters, sheds, etc. should be repaired as soon as possible.
Pet food should also remain indoors where it will not attract and encourage bear visits, and bird feeders should be removed. To minimize garbage odors, bones and meat scraps can be frozen until the day of pick up or the items are properly disposed of.
Residents with chicken coops, fruit trees and fish smokers should consider the use of an electric fence to protect against damage from bears. In the absence of human-caused attractants, bears will generally move off to other areas and seek natural foods.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game regulation 5 AAC 92.230 makes it illegal to negligently leave out food and garbage in a manner that attracts bears.
For additional information and questions, please contact the Douglas Area Office of the Alaska Department of Fish and Game at 465-4265.