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Estes Park Businesses Pledge To Reduce Bear Conflicts, Keep Bears Wild

News-Town-Bear-newThis summer, more than 70 Estes Park restaurants and other businesses signed a pledge to do their part to keep bears wild. The community-led Bear Education Task Force established the bear-responsible business pledge for Estes Park, and Bears Are Us volunteers followed up by visiting businesses to explain the pledge and offer businesses the opportunity to commit to this responsibility. By signing the pledge, businesses expressed an understanding that bears learn to use human food sources, can damage property and become aggressive, and that relocation is not an option so problem bears often must be destroyed.

Participating businesses received a “Keep Bears Wild” decal to place on a storefront window, and include: Aspen Lodge Resort & Spa, Big Horn Restaurant, Blimpies, Bob and Tony’s Pizza, Cables Pub and Grill, Café de Pho Thai, Chelito’s Mexican Restaurant, Chicago’s Best, China Garden, Claire’s on the Park, Coffee on the Rocks, Country Supermarket, Dairy Queen, Domino’s Pizza, Donut Haus, Ed’s Cantina, El Mex-Kal Family Mexican Restaurant, Elk Meadow RV Park, Estes Park Medical Center, Estes Park Brewery, Estes Park Resort, Flavors of the Rockies, Grandma’s Mountain Cookies, Grumpy Gringo, Hunter’s Chop House, Kind Coffee, Local’s Grill, Longz Restaurant, Marys Lake Lodge, McDonald’s, Misty Mountain Lodge, Molly B Restaurant, Mountain Home Café, Mountain Munchies, Mountaineer Restaurant, Mountain View Coffee, Munchin House, Nepal’s Cafe,́ Nicky’s Steakhouse, Notchtop Bakery and Cafe, Estes Park Old-Fashioned Candy, Orlando’s, The Other Side Restaurant, Park Theatre Deli, Penelope’s Old Time Burgers, Picnic in the Park, Pine Haven, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Rocky Mountain Gateway, Trailhead Restaurant, Smokin’ Dave’s Barbeque, Stanley Hotel, Subway, Lower Stanley Village, Sundeck Restaurant, Sweet Basilico, Taco Bell, KFC, The Dunraven Inn, The Egg & I, The Grubsteak, The Inn on Fall River, The Rock Inn, Rocky Mountain Park Inn, Smokin Dave’s BBQ and Taphouse, The Sundeck Restaurant, Sweet Basilico Cafe, Twin Owls Steakhouse, The Wapiti, The Wild Rose, Thai Kitchen, The Wheel Bar and Yesterday’s Ice Cream Shop.

bear-in-the-boxLook for the decal to support participating businesses. Understanding that only people can prevent bear problems, these businesses have agreed to:

1. Store trash in a bear-resistant container or a secure enclosure to avoid drawing bears to the property.

2. Continually educate staff about securing trash.

3. Regularly clean and properly secure barbecue grills, smokers and grease storage containers.

4. Lock bear-accessible doors and windows at night or when the building is vacated.

5. When appropriate, deter bears from approaching by using an air horn, bear spray, water hose, banging pots and pans or other method to scare away wildlife.

6. Report bear breaking in or aggressive/destructive bear emergencies in Estes Park to the Police Department at 970-586-4000 or 9-1-1.

7. Call Colorado Parks and Wildlife at 303-291-7227 with bear questions or concerns.

Restaurants or businesses that have not been contacted and would like to learn more about the pledge are encouraged to call 970-586-3510.

The Estes Valley Bear Education Task Force offers a variety of bear education programs and materials for Estes Valley businesses, residents and guests, children and adults. The task force has developed partnerships with community organizations and businesses, and prepared educational programs, a five-minute educational video, printed and electronic materials, hands-on children’s programs, and an interactive pledge and recognition program for bear-responsible businesses. Resources are available at www.estes.org/wildlife. Homeowners’ Associations, business and service organizations, teachers and businesses are encouraged to contact the task force to request a program or materials to help valley residents and visitors understand how simple it can be to avoid conflict with bears and other wildlife. The group’s mission is ultimately to create a better environment for bears and other wildlife, to preserve watchable wildlife in the Estes Valley, and to promote public safety.

Courtesy photos

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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