NEW YORK (NEWS10) — State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner, Basil Seggos, is reminding New Yorkers to take proactive measures to help reduce conflicts with bears as the weather begins to warm.
“After a relatively mild winter, bears are emerging from their dens and have begun seeking out food sources,” Commissioner Seggos said. “Unfortunately, people sometimes make it easy for bears to find food near their homes. Fish and Wildlife staff at DEC have received reports of bears getting into garbage and pulling down bird feeders to eat the seed. It’s important that homeowners take measures to prevent bears from easily accessing these unnatural food sources.”
The DEC is reminding people it is illegal to feed bears whether intentional or unintentional due to careless practices around people’s homes which can have negative consequences for entire communities.
The DEC advises people who live in areas with bear habitats, which includes much of Upstate New York, to remove items that attract bears such as bird feeders, loose garbage, and pet food by April 1.
The DEC says taking these steps helps to live responsibly with black bears, protect people, property, and the bears themselves. Allowing bears to naturally find food keeps them safe and out of harms way which reduces negative interactions with people and their property.
For additional information about how to reduce human/bear conflicts, visit the DEC’s website here.