Black bear sightings around Snoqualmie are normal during the spring and summer. After all, their home was cleared of much of its trees to become the site of our homes. What seems to be a little abnormal this year is that the bears have gotten less scared of us and that’s leading them into the yards of homes they didn’t used to visit.
Yes, we all know bears are capable of climbing fences. It just wasn’t something you heard about too often. The most likely targets for hungry local bears have always been garbage cans in unfenced homes near greenbelts. Most people I know don’t hesitate to keep their garbage can in their fenced backyards, but this year, some are starting to re-think that location.
Like Megan Miller who lives in an interior loop of homes on Cascade Ave. A momma bear and two cubs jumped her fence and made a feast of her garbage can contents. This occurred during daylight hours. Nancy Adams, an Ironwood neighborhood homeowner, watched a large bear enter her yard and climb the back fence into Ironwood Park where kids were playing; also during daylight hours. Another bear climbed a backyard fence in the Silent Creek neighborhood for the contents of a bird feeder; the sun was out again during this visit.
Snoqualmie residents concern over this year’s bear activity has Snoqualmie Police hosting a neighborhood meeting on the problem. The meeting happens tomorrow night, July 17th, at the Snoqualmie Fire Station at 7PM.
Officer Chris Moszetter of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), along with Snoqualmie Police Chief Steve McCulley, Captain Nick Almquist, and Officer Nigel Draveling will discuss the black bear problem in Snoqualmie and how the community can best respond.
Meeting Topics Include:
- Why there is an increase in bear activity in Snoqualmie
- Black bear feeding habits
- Garbage management to minimize bear encounters
- Safety concerns and what to do if confronted by a bear
- What information residents should have when making a bear report
- How the Snoqualmie Police Department and the WDFW are working together
Waste Management officials will also be at the meeting to provide information about bear-resistant garbage containers available for Snoqualmie residents. Currently, only a small fraction of Snoqualmie residents have ordered the new garbage cans which cost an extra $3 per month.
The City of Snoqualmie is asking residents to call 911 to report bear sightings. They are working with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to track black bear activity in the Snoqualmie area.