A Practical Guide to Bear Country
The Town of Snowmass Village in the mountains of Colorado modeled their groundbreaking 1993 ordinance after the even older one crafted by West Yellowstone, Montana. In a unique partnership between law enforcement and the Division of Wildlife, Snowmass combines tough laws with exceptional educational programs and community awareness that ranges from movable bear alert boards to e-alerts that go out to property managers and HOAs.
"We let people know we can write a ticket, but we'd much rather work with them to solve the problem. We'd rather have them invest in a bear-resistant container than pay a fine."Laurie Smith, Snowmass Village Animal Officer
Download the Snowmass, Colorado Bear Ordinance
The Banff National Park gateway city of Canmore kicked the can and went from curbside pickup to neighborhood bear-resistant dumpsters in just two years. They went from over 300 bear incidents and four bears being put down in 1998 to few sightings and no real problems involving bears and trash. They also cut the town's trash pick-up costs by 44%, saving taxpayers over $160,000 a year. Two years later they banned bird feeders from April to October, and also outlawed the outdoor composting of kitchen organic waste. They keep the program top of mind through a unique partnership with Bow Valley Wildsmart.
Copyright 2011-2013 Living With Bears / Linda Masterson