Woman cited for attracting bears

Posted: Monday, September 09, 2002

FAIRBANKS - A Two Rivers musher who left bags of dog food in her yard, attracting a family of grizzly bears, has been cited for creating a nuisance.

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game issued a $50 citation to Janice "Fritz" Kirsch for "creating an attractive nuisance and attracting grizzly bears" at her dog lot at Mile 17.5 Chena Hot Springs Road east of Fairbanks.

Two yearling cubs feeding on the dog food were killed by state wildlife biologists.

According to Fairbanks-area biologist Don Young, Kirsch left at least four 50-pound bags of dog food on a pallet in her dog yard. The bears feasted for at least a week before biologists killed the cubs Aug. 23 and 24.

State law prohibits feeding bears or negligently leaving food, dog food or garbage in a way that attracts bears.

Young said the bears had become conditioned to associate dog lots with food. Trying to relocate the bears would have been useless, he said.

The bears first showed up in Two Rivers in early July and over three weeks visited several dog lots in search of food. Using rubber bullets, biologists made repeated unsuccessful attempts to dissuade the bears from entering dog lots.

The bears disappeared from Two Rivers for about three weeks before showing up at Kirsch's dog lot two weeks ago.

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