Bear-proof garbage

Posted: Tuesday, May 01, 2001

Spring has sprung regardless of what our thermometers are telling us. The bears will be emerging from their dens soon, if they haven't already. It is only a matter of days before we start seeing them in our neighborhoods, looking for an easy meal. This could lead to a repeat of last year with many bear killings. I had hoped it wouldn't be like this.

I had envisioned that the city assembly would have, long before now, issued a set of regulations and/or recommendations which would help us, as a community, to work together to resolve the issue of urban bears. I was waiting for them to possibly issue a recommendation on purchasing bear-proof garbage containers or plans to build an acceptable bear-proof enclosure for cans, so that we could all do our part to keep the bears out of our neighborhoods. I had assumed that after the mayor's bear committee had forwarded their recommendations to the assembly that they would take quick action to have things in place before bear season. Alas, it seems that that is not to be.

Instead, it will be up to us as a community to do all we can to keep the bears where they belong this summer. This means being diligent about keeping garbage where bears cannot get to it even once. Once a bear gets an easy meal, it will be back for more, again and again. I would like to issue a plea to all Juneauites to do your share this year to keep garbage out of the reach of our bears, and especially want to direct that plea to my neighbors on Behrends Avenue. Please keep your garbage secure during the week and please do not put your garbage out the night before pick-up! This will only make it easier for the bears to enjoy all night dining, causing problems all summer long. Many of us do not have a garage to keep our cans in so we must do more. This includes keeping cans clean inside and out, freezing meat and fish scraps to put in the can on the morning of pick-up and doing whatever you can do to keep the cans secure. If we all start NOW we can make a difference over the summer and keep our bears alive and healthy.

Thanks for your help. For more information check out JuneauBears.com on the web!

Sally McLaughlin

Juneau



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