City’s Bears About To Get Thrashed Over Trash


This is not a feel-good story by any means. Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists say brown bears known to dig into Eagle River residents’ trash bins will be eventually euthanized.

Here’s the Anchorage Daily News with more, including a lesson to local residents about leaving trash outside for too long in a region where bears are known to live nearby (and have been euthanized in recent weeks):

It’s against municipal code to put your trash out the day before pick-up. The fine for setting trash out the day before pick-up is $75, according to Municipality of Anchorage lead land use enforcement officer Rich Fern. Fern said the muni typically tries to give people warnings first, but it does write citations. In areas where problems seem to be cropping up, Fern said the municipality will send blanket mailers to residents reminding them of the rules. Usually, that’s enough to get people to shape up.

“Once we do the outreach and public education we actually write very few tickets for this,” he said.

When it was noticed that more trash cans were spotted out the night before scheduled trash pick up times, it added to the frustration for area biologists and communications officer Ken Marsh from the ADN piece.

“That’s like ringing a dinner bell for a brown bear,” Marsh said.

If Fish and Game catch a bear feeding on someone’s trash, Stantorf said Fish and Wildlife Troopers or biologists will issue a $310 citation.

That’s a frustrating situation. Nobody who lives in these neighorhoods should be at risk to hungry bears, but leaving trash overnight or for an extended period isn’t exactly being bear aware either.