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Estes Park Citizens And Town Administrators Need To Work Together To Protect Bears From Open Garbage

In response to the citizen concerns voiced recently at the public meeting hosted by Town Administrator Frank Lancaster and to the increasing number of bear – human confrontations being reported in the Estes Valley and throughout the State this summer, the Association for Responsible Development (ARD) has compiled a list of easy, common sense actions we all can take immediately to help keep the bears and citizens in our community safe, healthy and out of danger.

As we all know, the most significant attraction, and the biggest problem, for our bears is unsecured foodstuffs, garbage/trash, and open windows. To help alleviate dangerous encounters, please:

1. Keep trash and garbage locked safely away, out of bears reach and smell.

2. Do not set out trash the night before pick up, put it at curbside the morning of pick up.

3. Do not leave lower level windows and doors open and unsecured at night.

Note: It has been reported that spraying a trash bag or container with an ammonia solution helps deter bears and raccoons.

Several businesses in Town use a chain or other device to lock large dumpsters closed at night. This approach has proven effective and costs little to implement.

If you notice trash and garbage left lying about or dumpsters overflowing there are a few simple steps you can take to help rectify the situation and keep temptation away from our bears and other wildlife.

1. Explain to your neighbors the dire consequences for our bears when they become habituated to feeding in bags and garbage receptacles.

2. Overflowing dumpsters which often contribute to bear issues can be reported to Waste Management, 970-586-5740. The number for a container from Atlas is 970-214-4892. You only need to provide the street address where the dumpster is located. They have been very cooperative and responsive in quickly resolving these problems.

3. If the problem exists at a vacation or rental property, the property management company needs to be notified. The Town Clerk, 970-577-4771 or 970-577-4772, can provide the name and phone number of the management company. All you need to do is provide the address.

4. If you think the trash presents a health or safety problem, the address should be reported to the police, 970-577-4000. The Estes Park Municipal Code, Chapter 08.04.040 (b) authorizes the Chief of Police to “immediately abate the nuisance in order to protect health, safety and welfare.”

Remember, unsecured garbage also attracts flies and rodents that can spread serious disease. This is not just a problem involving bears.

ARD applauds the initiative taken by our Town Administrator in helping to alleviate the danger to our people and bear population and looks forward to future public meetings announcing the positive actions that will be taken by our Town.

The Association for Responsible Development


© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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