Bear and Wildlife Tips

Pine Mountain Club is bear country. PMC is having a big bear problem right now because the local bears have been fed and no longer have any fear of humans. They are coming into town looking for human and pet food, have become habituated, and thus have become more aggressive. They are breaking into homes and confronting humans. If you live in Pine Mountain Club it is imperative that you haul your garbage to the Transfer Site as often as possible, and never leave human or dog food outside or even near an open window inside. Here are tips offered by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife on how to safely live in bear country. Please take them seriously; the safety of the residents , pets and bears of the PMC community depend upon it.

Tips to Handling Food and Trash in the Mountains

• Remember that bears and other animals are attracted to anything edible or smelly.

• Store garbage in bear-safe containers. They are available for home use and cost about $150.

• Keep food indoors or in airtight and odor-free containers.

Put away picnic leftovers and clean barbecue grills right away.

• Keep pet food inside, and put all bird feeders away.

• Pick up fallen tree fruit as soon as possible, or protect fruit trees with electric fencing.

• Remove any items with fragrance from your yard (sunscreen, insect repellent, soap, candles, etc.) and other attractants, includ- ing compost piles.

• Don’t leave trash, groceries or animal feed in your car.
• Keep garbage cans clean and deodorize them with bleach or ammonia.

• Keep doors and windows closed and locked. Scents can lure bears inside.

• Remove all food from homes and cab- ins that will be unoccupied for an extend- ed period of time.

• If camping, never keep food in your tent. Keep a tidy, attractant-free camp by cleaning up and storing food and garbage immediately after meals. Use bear-safe garbage cans whenever possible or store your garbage in a secure location with your food.

• During wilderness outings or camping trips, store food and toiletries in bear-safe containers or in an airtight container in the trunk of your vehicle.

Bear Country Precautions

• Keep a close watch on children, and teach them what to do if they encounter a bear.

• Keep pets inside as much as possible.

• While hiking, make noise to avoid a surprise encounter with a bear.

• Never approach a bear or pick up a bear cub.

• Securely block access to potential hi- bernation sites such as crawl spaces under decks and buildings.

Consider installing motion-detector alarms, electric fencing or motion-activated sprinklers.

• If a bear attacks a person, immediate- ly call 911.

• If there is a bear in your home, do not approach the bear. Remove yourself from danger, and when safe, call 911 or the Pine Mountain Club Patrol. Do not block any exits that the bear may use to escape.

• If you see a bear in your yard, slowly back away. DO NOT approach the bear. Allow the bear plenty of room to pass or withdraw. Once you are a safe distance away, encourage the bear to leave by banging pots and pans or making other loud noises.

When wild animals are allowed to feed on human food, dog food and/or garbage, they lose their natural ways – often resulting in death for the animal. Once conditioned to eat human food, the bear’s be- havior will not stop voluntarily, and unless the nuisance behavior can be corrected, bears may be killed to ensure public safe- ty. In order to avoid these deaths, food sources must be removed.

Please visit the website listed here for more info from the Department of Fish and Wildlife: www/ Me-Wild.