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Bears are here to stay

Posted by on Jul 1st, 2010 and filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

By Mary O’KEEFE

On June 26 at 4:40 a.m. a bear was sighted strolling near Pennsylvania Avenue about a mile above Foothill Boulevard.

This bear sighting adds to others that occurred last week. Residents in the foothills of Crescenta Valley have reported bear sightings late in the evening of June 22 and early morning June 23. Residents along upper Briggs Terrace reported seeing a bear near garbage cans, in yards and walking down the street.

The neighbors contacted Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station which responded and patrolled the area but did not find the bear.

Roger Young of the Crescenta Valley Fire Council received several emails concerning sightings. Over the weekend Young sponsored a meeting of about 30 Briggs Terrace residents on what to do in case a bear is sighted and what to do to help make neighborhoods not inviting to bears.

“We had several residents [promise] not to set their garbage cans on the street the night before their scheduled garbage day,” Young said.

Residents agreed to set garbage out the morning of the scheduled pick up instead.

When a bear is sighted, the procedure neighbors should follow is to notify the sheriff’s station.

“We haven’t seen a huge surge in calls,” said Sgt. Scott Gibson.

The station received sighting reports on May 30, June 21 and June 22.

Gibson added when sheriff’s receive a call they contact California Fish and Game.

“Fish and Game do not usually come out until we have the bear [spotted],” Gibson said.

The sergeant explained that deputies do not contain the animal in a small area but will monitor the perimeter so residents know where the bear is roaming. Fish and Game arrive once the bear is sighted within a confined area.

“Our first choice is always to transport the bear [back to the mountains],” said Kirsten Macintyre, communications manager at California Department of Fish and Game.  “It is not uncommon to see bears in the area.”

Macintyre said Fish And Game do not keep records of sightings but do for bear attacks.

“We haven’t had any attacks in the area in recent [history],” she said.

The bears that have been reported, although still wild, do not pose an aggressive threat. “We call them no harm no foul bears.”

The Department of Fish And Game offers residents some helpful safety tips including bear precautions.  For information, visit its website at  www.dfg.ca.gov/news/issues/bear. To contact the department for the South Coast Region call (858) 467-4201.

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