All spring and summer, reports have been coming in to WDFW of bears getting into garbage around Lake Wenatchee and Plain. This is NOT a bear problem, this is a human problem. As long as this community’s garbage problem persists, these bear conflicts will continue happening. Two bears have already been captured and relocated from the area around Lake Wenatchee, and more continue to find garbage food sources.
Bears become an issue when humans provide them with a food source. State law makes it illegal to negligently attract bears, and with the long history of bears getting into garbage in this community, leaving out trash all week is negligent. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will look to ticket those who continue to leave garbage out prior to trash day.
Many residents have tried to secure their garbage cans with a few clips, however, a few clips on a plastic can has been easy for the bears to figure out. In many cases, the “fix” may have caused more harm than good, with people leaving a barely secured can out all week. The best solution to this is to keep your garbage can inside, secure from bears, until the morning of trash day. Getting a bear resistant can from waste management is a good start, but no can is completely bear proof so leaving garbage out all week is still asking for trouble. In rare cases where cans must be left out more than a day, consider spraying them down with a cleaner or taste deterrent.
Do your part to ensure you are not contributing to the problem. Other attractants may include pet food, chickens and chicken feed, bird feeders including humming bird feeders, squirrel feeders, grills/smokers, compost piles and unfenced gardens. As a community we need to work to minimize and secure attractants. If we don’t minimize and secure attractants, we are instead contributing to a situation where conflict with bears is increased, as well as the likelihood that those bears will be killed. When it comes to garbage, a fed bear is a dead bear.
If you need to report a bear sighting or issue, call the WDFW Wenatchee District Office at 509-662-0452.
In the event of an emergency wildlife issue call 911.
Officer Eric Boyd, Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife
Law Enforcement Program
3860 Chelan Highway North, Wenatchee, WA 98801
509-860-8600 ? Eric.Boyd@dfw.wa.gov
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