Message from the marshal

Greetings to fellow citizens.

In this week’s edition of the Marshal’s message I’m going to write about something I really had no knowledge of until I did some homework and talked to some very educated people. Coming from the city, I hadn’t encountered problems like this in the past, but now it seems like I need to know a little something about this week’s topic — BEARS!

We have had an increase in calls from citizens about bears in their yards, around buildings and shops and even the school. So, some of this might be old stuff for long-time residents, but not for me, so I thought maybe this could be used as a gentle reminder.

I have found that bears are very curious animals, smart and adaptable. They will eat just about anything that can produce calories for them to get through the winter. They are very resourceful animals. They are very shy and wary of people and other things that may be unfamiliar to them and most of the time will just run away. I’m told that this time of year the bears need up to 20,000 calories a day to gain enough weight to survive the winter. They have a nose that can smell food from up to five miles away.

As a reminder to all of us, please make sure that if you have any type of fruit trees, that you pick the fruit, especially apple trees, pear trees and trees with berries. Bring in all bird feeders including hummingbird feeders. If you don’t want to stop feeding birds, hang your bird feeders at least 10 feet off the ground and 10 feet from where a bear could climb. If you have trash, which we all do, bears will be attracted to it. Try to set the trash out the morning of pickup and not overnight. Clean your trash receptacle with bleach and water when you can. Remember, bears are smart, so if they find food somewhere, they’ll usually make a return trip.

This year has been tough on the bears because of the Weber fire. Most of the berries and nuts they would feed on are gone and they’re just looking for a meal. Make sure you do not leave food in your vehicles and always lock your vehicles. It seems bears like to find a way into cars and trucks If there is food there and sometimes get in and can’t get out. In talking with the experts, most of the time a bear in town will find a tree to climb and digest its food or will just be walking towards its next meal.

Never get between a bear and where it wants to go. Most of the time they will just wander out of town.

Remember, bears do not want to cause us harm. They don’t know they’re doing something wrong when they’re in our trash — they’re just trying to survive. If you come across a bear, the best advice I can give you is leave it alone. Don’t try to get close enough to take pictures or agitate the bear. If you feel you’re in danger, leave the area and call the police.

We wish everyone a safe week.

Bill Knauer