No Food & Be Mean
article by Cracker Eshleman
"No Food & Be Mean" is the main message Ann Bryant, Executive Director of the BEAR League, conveyed to her audience of local residents in Sierraville on Monday evening, June 29th. The goal of the BEAR League is to educate the public on how to live successfully in bear country in order to avoid such problems as property damage.
photo by Carol Iman
Allowing bears access to food of any kind is illegal. The fine for feeding bears has increased to $1,000 and/or a year in jail. Years ago Sierra County passed an ordinance on Black Bear Management and Safety making it illegal to feed bears which includes allowing bears access to garbage. Sierra County’s ordinance is so well written many other counties in California have adopted it. Ann pointed out that if Sierra County had been enforcing its own ordinance from inception, there would be far less of a problem now. Ann also communicated that humans are naturally the dominant species and we need to "Be Mean" and scare bears out of our territory – our homes, our yards. Don’t be afraid and submissive. Yell at the bear, bang pots and pans, blow a boat horn, throw rocks, use a sling shot and a paintball gun. Make the bear think you are a bigger bear than he is. We must take aggressive action to convince the bears that our homes are not their territory.
Securing our homes, sheds, barns, and gardens from bears was another topic covered. John Olofson of Graeagle, whose business is electric fencing, set up an electric fence outside on the Sierraville School lawn to demonstrate this highly effective bear deterrent. John is happy to bear proof your property with an electric fence and can be reached at 530-394-7076 for an estimate.
For further help call the BEAR League at: 530-525-PAWS or visit the website: www.savebears.org Local BEAR League volunteers are Carol Iman, east side of Sierra County, and Cracker Eshleman, west side of Sierra County.