Building a bear-smart community refers to the act of effectively overseeing and limiting the things that attract bears into the community, managing human activities, and establishing policies and practices for non-lethal bear control techniques. While building a bear-smart community is a multifaceted task that requires strategy and hard work, here are some tips that can help you along the way to making your community bear-smart:
Conduct a Bear Hazard Assessment
Your first step in building a bear-smart community should be conducting a bear hazard assessment that will provide you with the information you need regarding where the bear problem is and what (species of bear) you’re dealing with. During your bear hazard assessment, you should identify potential human-bear conflicts and conflict zones, and start to think about bear control recommendations.
Put in Place a Plan
After a hazard assessment has been completed, you should use the information gathered from the assessment to formulate and implement a bear management plan. Putting together a plan can be hard work and will require the cooperation of multiple agencies. For instance, you can contact the forest rangers’ authorities who can assign regular patrols near your community. Similarly, the neighborhood can hire a reliable contractor (such as this contractor here) who can undertake the responsibility of fencing the whole community. In that regard, installing aluminum fencing can be considered. This is because metal barriers can prevent bears from breaking in. That said, the plan should highlight the roles of different organizations and agencies, and how bears will be managed if they do wander into town.
Education – Be Smart, Be Safe
One of the biggest aspects of building a bear-smart community is to educate community members about the hazards of bears and how to avoid attracting bears. Part of being bear-smart includes:
• Properly throwing away garbage (especially food). Garbage will attract bears or the prey of bears to your community and it is important to dispose of it correctly.
• Avoiding using bird feeders during bear season. Bears are not very effective at hunting birds however they may try to eat the feeders. Birds may also attract the prey of bears to your community.
• Deter small mammals from the property. If using pest control measures such as https://www.pestcontrolexperts.com/local/rhode-island/; ensure any carcasses are properly disposed of as bears will feed on carrion.
• Keeping lawns and yards in tip-top shape. Bears love to eat dandelions and clover and these can grow in abundance on unmown lawns.
• Keeping your car clean and free from food or anything else that might smell tempting to a bear. A bear can break into a car quite easily.
• Securing your home by keeping windows and doors closed to prevent the smell of food from wafting outdoors.
• Using a bear-proof composter can allow you to dispose of food waste properly and prevent bears from eating the scraps within.
• Not using citronella (the scent attracts bears).
• Washing your barbeque grill after use to ensure no food or fat is left on it.
• Feeding pets, and keeping pet food, indoors. This ensures the safety of the pet and reduces food access for bears or animals likely to attract bears.
• Harvesting veggies as they ripen, as vegetables like carrots in a garden will attract bears.
• Think about using electric fencing to keep bears off the property if you have a garden, chicken coops, or fruit-bearing trees or bushes. You can look for an Edmonton fencing company (or in your close vicinity) to learn more about fencing options.
In addition to managing properties, part of community education should include what to do while on trails and in campsites. Community members should watch out for bears while hiking, keep dogs on leaches, hike in groups rather than solo, never leave food in campgrounds, and pay attention to posted signs about bear activity.
By following the tips listed above, you’ll be well on your way to establishing a bear-safe community.
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