Tips on living responsibly with black bears

Published 11:05 am Thursday, July 6, 2023

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FOOTHILLS—With black bear sightings reported in the area recently, it is important to remember a few rules regarding these animals. Here are a few “BearWise Basics” on how to live responsibly with black bears, courtesy of

Never feed or approach bears. Intentionally feeding bears or allowing them to find anything that smells or tastes like food teaches bears to approach homes and people looking for more. Also, always secure food, garbage and recycling. Food and food odors attract bears, so don’t reward them with easily available food, liquids or garbage. Clean and store grills and smokers after each use and make sure that all grease, fat and food particles are removed. 

Bird feeders should be removed when bears are active. Birdseed and grains have lots of calories, so they’re very attractive to bears. Removing feeders is the best way to avoid creating conflicts with bears. 

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Never leave pet food outdoors. Feed pets indoors when possible. If you must feed pets outside, feed in single portions and remove bowls afterward. Store pet food where bears can’t see or smell it.

Lastly, always alert neighbors to bear activity. If you’ve seen bears in the area or evidence of bear activity, tell your neighbors and share info on how to avoid bear conflicts.

For more information on black bears, visit