Bear report | SierraSun.com

Bear report

Bear activity is increasing with each passing week due to natural foods shriveling in the forest and creeks and streams running dry. The recent forest fire near Sunnyside immediately resulted in more bear activity in the nearby surrounding areas, including break-ins and sightings.

Also, over the past several years, residents around Tahoe and Truckee have inadvertently invited bears from the backcountry with garbage and bird-feeders (and deliberate feeding) and these bears as a result now feel comfortable foraging and living in close proximity with people.

We are seriously suffering the consequences of drought, fires, and human irresponsibility and must take extra precaution in order to prevent a situation that can otherwise only escalate. As some of our ‘summer only’ residents leave their cabins unattended and as fall approaches we expect even more problems due to the bears attempting to put on weight for winter … a natural cycle and something they must do.

It is recommended that cabin owners closing up for the season make sure all food is removed and crawl spaces (which might seem inviting to bears looking for den sites) are secured and closed up tight.

is host to a young bear who is breaking into homes. He appears to be one of the displaced bears from the Angora Fire, as he has not been seen in this area before. He also has entered some unlocked vehicles in search of any crumbs he thinks he can find.

Several residents in have called to report neighbors who place trash out all week long and open Dumpsters at vacation lodges, which all attracts bears and other wildlife. Each morning trash is strewn by bears who are quickly learning that this means of ‘foraging’ rewards them with massive calories and very easy meals.

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Old County Road just west of is beginning to have problems with bears entering homes and one of the concerns is that this will spread to the surrounding neighborhoods as fall approaches. The barking dog alarms are working very well in discouraging bears from attempting to raid kitchens but they must also be used in conjunction with other aversive techniques. The BEAR League is available for homeowners to discuss how best to avoid creating bear problems and how to stop an existing problem.

Unsecured garbage in mobile home parks in has resulted in numerous reports of bears frequenting these populated residential areas. Bears are naturally designed to use their noses to find food and then use their teeth and claws to get at it. Mobile homes offer little resistance and authorities are concerned that they will begin to enter inhabited mobile homes where children may be present. All possible steps must be taken to remove the invitation to bears who are feeling welcome in these areas. The ’24-hour Bear Restaurant’ sign must be removed.

A landlord in called to report a bear repeatedly breaking into the garage in order to raid the freezer his tenant’s insist on storing excess food in. The door is not solid enough to withstand the strength of a 600-pound animal who smells irresistible goodies from within. Freezers and refrigerators in garages and sheds ultimately result in problems. It’s best to avoid the situation in the first place by removing these appliances before the bears catch on.