A grim fate | SierraSun.com

A grim fate

Alex Close/Sierra SunA young bear entered a culvert trap Tuesday that was set at a residence in Squaw Valley.

A young bear entered a culvert trap Tuesday that was set at a residence in Squaw Valley. According to the California Department of Fish and Game, once a bear has entered a trap the permit requested by the homeowner is considered filled and the bear is taken away to be killed.

The bear, according to Jean-Claude Pascal who requested the permit, had entered his two homes in Squaw Valley six times, causing $3,000 in damage. Pascal said he was in contact and working with the BEAR League to keep the bear away from his home.

“We tried to throw rocks, to shoot some BB guns [at the bear],” he said. “I’ve lived in Squaw for 34 years, never had this problem before.”

The BEAR League’s aversion tactics, according to Pam Rocca, tend to work.

“When the BEAR League is successful in aversion, the bear is our ally “-he keeps the bears out of the area,” Rocca said. “We can’t decimate our population of trained bears, because then we have to start from scratch.”

Jason Holley, a Fish and Game associate wildlife biologist and the “bear guy,” as he puts it for the Tahoe area, said he has received dozens of calls from the area about bears. The BEAR League reported in a recent Squaw Valley Property Owner’s Association newsletter that some residents had been feeding and filming bears, causing them to frequent neighborhoods.

“If a permit is issued, it is a person’s right to take that bear,” Holley said.

In order for a permit to be issued Fish and Game must verify the request by visiting the site, however, such visits do not occur all the time, according to Holley.

“The last thing we like to see is a dead bear,” said Holley. “It is [a resident’s] responsibility to keep your place bear proof ” people have to be educated.”

Holley added that baiting or feeding bears is illegal and that instances of bears getting fed in Squaw Valley have been reported to him.

“It is a community problem ” a traumatic situation,” said Pascal. “It is not the kind of thing I want to see.”

This is the first bear in Squaw Valley to be killed in seven years, according to BEAR League Executive Director Ann Bryant. Bryant who said she was “extremely distraught” over the filled permit also asserted that the bear in the trap was not the bear that was entering homes.

When camping

– Never keep items such as food, toothpaste, candy, gum, perfume or lip gloss in your tent or sleeping bag;

– Store food in a bear-proof container or locker;

– The trunk of your car is not secure;

– Clean everything after preparing meals;

– Use canisters for food when backpacking;

– Do not keep food in your tent that smells like food or cooking odors.

Taking out the trash

– When possible, do not leave trash out overnight before pick up;

– Go to http://www.savebears.org for a list of tested bear-resistant containers.

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