Avon’s bear ordinance.2005 | VailDaily.com

Avon’s bear ordinance.2005

Special to the Daily

Town of Avon Reminds Citizens of Wildlife Protection Ordinance

Spring is here!- The bears are awake and boy, are they hungry!

The Avon Town Council, in response to what is seen as a growing number of bear encounters with humans and the Colorado Division of Wildlife’s efforts aimed at getting local governments to enact laws to prevent human refuse from becoming a staple in the bear diet, enacted Ordinance No. 04-11 last fall.

Some Avon citizens had expressed concern about what they see as an increase in the number of bear sightings within the town this summer.- The Avon Police Department responded to over 70 bear calls in 2004.- It is hoped that this ordinance, and its accompanying public education, will reduce these encounters over the next several years.

Key provisions of the ordinance are:-

——- The new provision makes it a violation to place trash out on days other than scheduled collection day.- Garbage containers are allowed to be placed for pick-up between the hours of 6 a.m. and Midnight on the day of service only.

——- Intentionally or unintentionally providing food for wildlife is not allowed; this includes use/storage of pet food, bird feeders and garbage.

——- Construction sites must have a designated container for items edible by wildlife.- The container must be emptied or removed each workday.

——- Between April 15th and November 15th, all bird feeders must be suspended on a cable or other device so that they are inaccessible to bear, and the area below the feeders must be kept free from the accumulation of seed debris.

——- Violators could face fines from $100 to $1,000 and could be required to install bear proof or wildlife resistant containers to prevent future problems.

Last fall, the Town’s Police and Community Development Departments developed, printed and distributed almost 1,000 brochures detailing Avon’s ordinance and offering suggestions on living with bears and spread the word among members of the construction community.- Brochures are now available at the Municipal Building and the Avon Police Department or on both the TOA and APD websites.

A separate notice for contractors, to be translated into Spanish, has been prepared and will again be delivered to worksites throughout Avon.-

Police officers will approach multi-housing property managers to remind them of- the new ordinance and work with them to assure compliance.-

The brochure also includes tips to help keep bears and other wildlife away, including:

——- Remove anything that could lure bears, and keep those attractants safely out of a bear’s reach from March until late November, when they return to hibernation.

——- Place all trash in bear proof containers or locations that cannot be reached by wildlife.- Place containers outside only on the day of pickup and not the night before.- Clean your garbage containers with ammonia or bleach on a regular basis to remove food smells.

——- Don’t leave pet food outside or use automatic pet feeders.

——- Burn off all food residue and grease from grills, and store grills after each use.- Grills also should be regularly cleaned with bleach.

——- Place only grass clippings and similar items in compost piles, not meat, fruit, vegetables or other food items.

Finally, the brochure lists actions people should take if they encounter a bear:

——- Don’t approach the bear

——- Keep your eyes on the bear, but avoid direct eye contact

——- Walk away facing the bear

——- Leave the bear an escape route

——- Do not run or make sudden movements

——- If you are attacked, fight back with rocks, sticks or even your bare hands.

——- Teach children what to do if they encounter a bear.

——- Never come between a mother and her cubs.

——- Speak softly.- This may reassure the bear that no harm is meant to it.

——- Do not play dead with a bear.- Get angry and fight back.

——- Show the bear you are in control.

For more information, click on http://www.avon.org/News.cfm.

Vail Colorado

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