See links at the menu bar on the
left for info on
- The Laws: CBJ
laws on garbage storage
- Bear Publications: pamphlets,
fliers, and newsletters on bears and garbage storage (info from CBJ and
other places in the U.S. and Canada)
- Garbage Storage Ideas: photos
of storage containers around Juneau, tips on how to build your own, and
lists of available containers for purchase
- Bear Call Reports:
information on calls to the Juneau Police Department regarding bears.
- Bear Facts and Links: links
to more info on bears
The people of Juneau have experienced recurring conflicts with bears in our
community. The city is surrounded by prime black bear habitat and it isn't
uncommon to see bears wandering through town. Juneau residents treasure the
natural surroundings in which we live: we live in bear country and we
feel lucky to do so.
Because we understand our responsibility
to the wildlife whose home we share, our community was among the first in
the nation to enact local laws aimed at keeping bears out of garbage.
As we continue to refine laws and practices, Juneau is becoming a model for
other communities committed to living in harmony with wildlife.
Juneau residents have long been
asked to try to keep garbage away from bears. Now, local ordinances (in effect
year-round) offer that little extra incentive: you may be fined if you don't!
Expect continued vigourous enforcement. Below is a brief summary
of relevant provisions:
- All dumpsters containing putrescible
waste must be fitted with a tight fitting metal lid or be behind barriers
sufficient to deny entry by a bear.
- Garbage cans may
be put out to the curb for collection no sooner than 4 a.m. on pickup
- Other than after 4 a.m. on pickup
day, garbage must be kept in a bear resistant container or enclosure. That is
- in a strong fully enclosed structure
such as a garage
- in another "bear resistant enclosure,"
defined as an enclosure that you can't get into unless you use hands
or tools. If it can be opened by stomping on it, kicking it, running
into it with your body, or other similar action, it is not bear resistant.
- Garbage cans must be fitted
with lids so as to remain secure if cans are tipped over.
- If your garbage has attracted bears and you fail to take
steps to legally store your garbage, you could be cited for maintaining
a bear attraction nuisance, a $50 fine for the first offense.
For the full text of relevant
ordinances, click on "The Laws" page on the menu bar on the left
of this page.
Juneau is prime black bear habitat and it isn't uncommon to see bears traveling through neighborhoods.
A black bear passing through is generally not a threat. Black bears are rarely aggressive toward people
and no serious attacks have ever been reported in Juneau. If given space, time, and the opportunity to
retreat, most bears will wander back into the woods.
- Is the bear eating natural foods and/or just passing through?
If a bear is eating natural foods-such as berries or grass-leave it alone and
give it time and space to leave. Unless the bear receives food rewards (garbage,
dog food, birdseed), it will generally move on.
- Is the bear climbing onto property?
If the bear is climbing onto your porch or deck, encourage it to leave by banging
pots or making other loud noises. After the bear leaves, remove any attractants.
- Is the bear getting into garbage?
If the bear is getting into your garbage, wait in a safe place--a car or house--until you
are sure the bear has gone. Clean up whatever attracted it to your property, and keep trash
cans inaccessible until the morning of pickup day. Don't give this or any other bear a
chance to get another food reward.
A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear
- Bears attracted to neighborhoods by garbage become problems for
you, your neighbors (including kids!), and, eventually, for police.
- It is your responsibility to keep your garbage
away from bears.
Protect all of your neighbors--including bears--by keeping trash and other attractants away from bears.