Glenwood Springs Police enforce bear ordinance
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado – Glenwood Springs Police have already started notifying Glenwood Springs residents of a new ordinance regarding irresponsible residents’ trash attracting bears, which created numerous conflicts last year.Glenwood Springs Code Enforcement has been trying to get ahead of the trash that is such an attractant for the bears, according to Glenwood Police Chief Terry Wilson.
“We’ve issued dozens of notices on the new ordinance to residents about keeping it cleaned up before it becomes a problem,” Wilson said. “We’ve had a concerted effort on getting to that early.”The new ordinance allows police to issue citations to not only property owners, but renters and property managers as well. It also reduces the amount of warnings from two before getting a citation on the third incident, to a single warning before being issued a citation on the second incident. Resulting penalties could be as high as a $500 fine.”We can hold property residents as well as property owners at fault,” Wilson said. “It’s given us an ability to deal with things more appropriately by being able to hold the right person accountable.”And so far, despite it being early in the year yet, people have been fairly receptive to the ordinance changes. The ordinance remains that trash containers that aren’t wildlife proof cannot be taken out prior to 6 a.m. and must be brought inside before 8 p.m. on the day of scheduled pickup.”This year so far, we’ve not had any citations issued,” Wilson said. “We’ve had really good compliance from residents so far with this ordinance in place. But with strike two, you will get a citation.”Wilson added that the new ordinance has “wiped the slate clean” for residents that had received warnings in previous years, saying that warnings given last year without citations won’t be counted during the current year. However, Wilson is hoping that people won’t need to be warned every year.
“We hope that we won’t have to do that,” Wilson said. “Hopefully we address the situation and it will be taken care of.”But Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Randy Hampton said it has a lot to do with more new residents unfamiliar with the bear habits that will need the warnings each year.”There are so many people that are new to the area that call us when they see a bear for the first time because they are not used to seeing them,” Hampton said. “And Glenwood is right in the middle of good bear habitat and they are coming out.”But it takes a lot more than ordinances to lessen the amount of bear and human conflict that occur. Hampton said it’s a combo of mother nature’s role in providing sufficient food sources for wildlife and people doing what they should to “bear proof” their homes to help limit the problem. But even all that won’t totally eliminate the problem.”If mother nature does everything right, then we’ve got a fighting chance,” Hampton said. “But everyone needs to pay attention to the ordinances to help out.”Contact John Gardner: firstname.lastname@example.org
Post Independent, Glenwood Springs, Colorado CO
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