Beef up your bins before they become bear breakfast

A new ordinance goes into effect April 1 to get bear-resistant trash cans. But it may not be a cheap or easy process.
As bears wake up from hibernation, they'll be looking for food and could get into your trash. (Fox-Rachel/DeviantArt)

by | Mar 24, 2023 | Environment

“Your trash, your compost, your chicken coops are easy food sources. So, bears will continually get into that, and they will get bolder and bolder. This often leads to aggressive situations where a bear may charge a person for trying to withhold their trash, or they may damage property.” 

The bears are waking up. Grand Teton National Park saw its first grizzly bear of the year Wednesday night. And the first sighting in Yellowstone was earlier this month.

Their arrival is a reminder that some Jackson and Teton County homeowners may still need to get bear-resistant trash cans. The town is aiming to reduce human and bear conflicts ,and a new ordinance goes into effect April 1, but it may not be a cheap or easy process.

Kole Stewart, with BearWise Jackson Hole, is speaking to residents in the bear conflict zone ahead of the deadline to help homeowners get into compliance.

He recently stopped by the KHOL studio and sat down with News Director Tyler Pratt to talk all things bears and trash bins. 

Click “Listen” below to hear their conversation. 

“There was an instance here in Teton County where a bear tore into part of a building to get to what was secured trash,” Stewart said. “It literally walked like down in an [outdoor] apartment hallway essentially to get to it. So, you’ll start to see these bolder behaviors once bears start to get habituated to humans and used to eating their trash.”

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About Tyler Pratt

Tyler has over a decade of experience as a jack-of-all-trades at public radio newsrooms across the U.S. He's a Columbia Journalism School alum with a passion for reporting on criminal justice, social justice, and LGBTQ+ issues. He loves New Orleans Saints football, dance floors, tasting new wines and trying out taco spots. Follow Tyler on Twitter @prattattak

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