New houses in Placer will require bear-proofing |

New houses in Placer will require bear-proofing

Tahoe area bears may soon find their search for food a bit more frustrating as they roam residential streets.

During its Dec. 14 meeting, the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council decided to recommend to the county’s Board of Supervisors that all new houses constructed above 5,000 feet in Placer County be required to install a bear-proof garbage container; the council will also recommend that all remodeling work exceeding $3,000 should require the installation of the same.

Ann Bryant, president of the BEAR League, said the requirement of a bear-proof container would help prevent savaging bears from foraging into neighborhoods in search of an easy meal. The trash containers in question – large, tight-seamed, metal boxes that cost approximately $800 – are apparently bear-proof.

“The only time a bear gets into them is if the person forgets to latch [the doors],” Bryant said, adding that many of the boxes are now being built with a new latch mechanism, making it more difficult to leave them open.

Many Tahoe homes now have visually appealing wood trash containers posted street-side. While the wood containers offer more protection than a stand-alone trash can, what little challenge they present to the bears, seems to be easily overcome.

Bryant, whose volunteer organization responds to bear sightings in the Tahoe area, reported to the council that a large majority of the calls she receives stem from garbage-related incidents.

“If you’re gonna live here, you’ve gotta live here responsibly,” Bryant said. “There’s always people who won’t [install a bear-proof container] no matter what, unless there’s a law.”

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