Official Communications from the Town of Lyons

Be Bear Aware

Only People Can Prevent Problems with Bears

Information sourced from Colorado Parks and Wildlife
Bear seen at Lyons residence last week
Bear seen at Lyons residence last week
With a recent influx local bear activity, the Town of Lyons and Boulder County Sheriff’s Office asks Lyons residents to help keep bears alive and in the wild.

Black bears are curious, smart, very adaptable, and will eat just about anything with calories. Bears want to get the most energy they can with the least amount of effort. Every bear’s goal is to get fat enough to live through the winter.

Most conflicts between people and bears can be traced to easy-to-get-at human food, garbage, pet food, bird seed or other attractants. When people allow bears to find food, a bear’s natural drive to eat can overcome its wariness of humans. Once bears know where to find food, they will come back – often, increasingly destructive – for more calories.

Bears that get too comfortable around people can easily damage property, vehicles, and homes, and even become a threat to human safety. Habituated bears must often be destroyed. Please don’t let bears die needlessly. Do your part to bear-proof your home and property, and help keep bears alive and wild.

Teach Bears They’re Not Welcome

If a bear comes into your yard or close to your home, do yourself and the bear a big favor, and scare it away. A confident attitude plus loud noises like a firm yell (most bears fear human voices), clapping your hands, banging on pots and pans or blowing an air horn sends most bears running.
Garbage Kills Bears

Garbage Kills Bears

Much of what we throw out smells like food to a hungry bear. Standard metal or plastic trash cans won’t keep bears out. Once bears learn where it’s easy to get at the garbage, they’ll come back again and again.

Never leave trash or recyclables out overnight. Empty cans and boxes still smell like food. One study showed that simply putting trash out only on the morning of pick up cuts the chances of a bear visit from 70% to 2%.

If you must leave trash outside, buy a bear-proof container, build a bear-proof enclosure, or install an electric fence. To avoid attracting bears, clean containers regularly with ammonia or bleach.
Bird Feeders Kill Bears

Bird Feeders Kill Bears

Studies show that a big meal of tasty, nutritious seeds — a natural food for bears — is often the first reward a bear gets for exploring human places. Letting your bird feeders turn into bear feeders teaches bears that it’s safe to come close to people and homes looking for food. For bears, that can end up being a deadly lesson.

CPW recommends not feeding birds during the months when bears are active.

Instead, use water features, plant­ings, nest boxes and flowers to attract birds. Use bird feeders only when bears are hibernating.

Never store bird seed outside, under your deck, or in a garage or shed a bear could break into. A 50-pound bag of bird seed has over 87,000 calories—a reward for the bear that is well worth the effort of breaking in.
Help Keep Bears Wild!

Help Keep Bears Wild

Get in the habit of being bear-responsible. It’s like recycling — at first it’s a little extra effort, but soon it becomes a better way to live. You can be proud you’re helping to make Colorado a better place for people and bears.
  • Don’t feed bears, and don’t put out food for other wildlife that attracts bears.
  • Be responsible about trash and bird feeders.
  • Burn food off barbecue grills and clean after each use.
  • Keep all bear-accessible windows and doors closed and locked, including home, garage and vehicle doors.
  • Don’t leave food, trash, coolers, air fresheners or anything that smells in your vehicle.
  • Pick fruit before it ripens and clean up fallen fruit.
  • Talk to your neighbors about doing their part to be bear responsible.

If You See a Bear If a bear comes near your home, do your best to chase it away. Yell, blow a whistle, clap your hands, and make other loud noises. But never approach a bear.

Town of Lyons, Colorado
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