A better question might be: What would be the current situation if we had not taken
measures several years ago to control bear interactions in town? Three years ago, bears
were routinely turning over street cans on Main Street and spreading trash from shared
dumpsters behind businesses. They were also scattering garbage from unsecured trash
cans in every neighborhood. These bear problems exacerbated litter and appearance
issues in the town. The situation posed danger for both residents and bears alike. Two
years ago, the town board voted to embrace the protocols of the BearWise program.
These measures included eliminating shared dumpsters in the town and the leasing to businesses of 98-gallon bear resistant roll carts. This improved appearances and stopped residents and visitors from placing personal garbage in the dumpsters. The town board also voted to require neighborhood residents to place garbage in bear resistant roll carts. These carts can be emptied with a lift system and reduces injuries to our workforce. Our code enforcement officer enforces the BearWise regulations and watches for overfilling of the roll carts, putting loose bags on the street, and using cans that are not bear resistant. While we still have bears around town, without these control measures the bear situation would be much worse..
Bear trying to get into a bear-resistant trash can. (Photo: Candie Howeard and BearWise)
Mayor Pat explains the BearWise Program success story.
BEFORE Bear Wise