A new program in Teton County aims to reduce a leading cause of human/bear conflict by providing bear-resistant trash cans to residents regardless of their ability to pay. Drew Gath with Jackson Hole Bear Solutions says when bears know they can eat for free, it’s dangerous for residents, and frequently deadly for the bears. Gath says switching out your trash can is a small price to pay for living next to wild landscapes.
Gath said, “All of the people that come out to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, they’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see grizzly bears, black bears and other wildlife. It’s really important that we keep these resources safe.”
Teton County’s recently updated wildlife-feeding regulations now prohibit residents from allowing wildlife to access trash and other attractants on their property. Thanks to a grant from an anonymous donor, Gath’s group was able to purchase the first round of cans approved by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee. The cans have passed tests with actual grizzlies on a wilderness preserve in Montana. Residents can sign up to get their new trash can at jhbearsolutions.org.
Photo: NPS/Jim Peaco