Frisco has seen an increase in bear activity in the past two weeks, and there have been numerous sightings of a bear with a cub near Frisco Main Street. Frequent instances of unsecured trash receptacles, which bears have obviously accessed, have also been observed in Frisco.
“The Town of Frisco Police Department is hoping to work together with residents and businesses so bears can stay alive, happy, and healthy. The last thing we want is a habitual bear problem that ultimately endangers the lives of our wildlife,” Calie Rushton, Frisco Police Department Community Service Officer.
Trash Cans Out in the Morning and Put Away in the Evening & A Few More Tips to Protect Our Bruins
- Frisco town code states that garbage receptacles must be used for trash and should have lids which keep out animals.
- Also, the code states that garbage receptacles should only be placed at the curb on the day of pickup, and should be removed from the curb no later than 10:00pm on the same day as garbage pickup.
- Failing to follow the code may not only result in a ticket, but could also result in a bear being euthanized if it is habituated to human food sources.
- The Town recommends that garbage receptacles be kept indoors whenever possible, but if they cannot then lids need to be secured properly.
- Also, the Town reminds residents to close garage doors, lock house doors and cars, and take down bird feeders.
Bear Aware Information from Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) received 3,644 bear reports from April 1 through August 31, 2020, down slightly from the 3,855 over the same timeframe the previous year. However, that number is expected to grow rapidly as bears are now in hyperphagia, the period when bruins are preparing for hibernation and spend up to 20 hours a day on the hunt for 20,000 or more daily calories.
Most of the reports involve bears trying to access human food sources, and as we enter this fall period of hyper bruin activity, CPW is calling on residents to remove attractants to reduce conflicts and keep you and the bears safe.
“As fall approaches, people can think of bears as basically a four-legged walking stomach,” said District Wildlife Manager (DWM) Joe Nicholson out of the Evergreen district. “They are biologically driven to pack on calories in preparation for winter and they spend increasing time looking for the most efficient way to do so. Residents must realize it is their responsibility to secure their trash, remove other food attractants such as bird feeders, and protect backyard livestock with appropriate electric fencing to avoid conflicts that arise from attracting bears to homes.”
“It has been an active year in Middle Park and we’re really seeing big trash problems in some communities. We’ve put down several bears that learned to break into homes in the search for food and we’ve relocated other bears that were being taught to get into trash by lazy human actions. With fall arriving, bears are getting more active and it’s even more important that people live responsibly in the mountains.” – Jeromy Huntington, Area 9 Wildlife Manager. Area 9 includes Summit County.
CPW promotes Bear Aware principles all year long, aiming to minimize interactions that put both humans and bears at risk. Being “Bear Aware” includes easy-to-execute behaviors such as securing trash cans and dumpsters, removing bird feeders, closing garages, cleaning and locking your car and house doors and calling CPW when bears become a nuisance.
Drought conditions and other factors that may influence the availability of natural food crops for bears varies across the state, as does the behavior of people when it relates to human-bear interactions. Those all play a role in the bear activity that we see annually.
Who to Call
If you observe trash cans out the night before pick up or left out or experience a non-emergency incident with a bear, please call non-emergency dispatch at 970-668-8600. Let’s work together to keep everyone, including bears, safe.