The number and severity of human-bear conflicts in the county have reached an all-time high this year. Many of our local bears have learned to associate people and homes with food, have lost their fear of humans and are roaming neighborhoods in broad daylight. These bears have learned to access trash from refuse containers and are actively seeking them out. This is unacceptable and we need your help.In 2001, Pitkin County enacted a Wildlife Protection Ordinance (No. 010-2001) establishing standards for wildlife (i.e., bear)-resistant refuse storage in an attempt to reduce the availability of trash as an attractant to bears. Due to the available technology for refuse containers in 2001, as well as a desire to keep financial costs to county residents at a minimum, the practical standard for a “Wildlife Proof Refuse Container” became the 90-gallon rollaway plastic cart with modifications for latching and reinforcing the lid. The Colorado Division of Wildlife and Pitkin County have determined that the plastic rollaway garbage containers as described above have failed as WPRCs as defined by the Wildlife Protection Ordinance. All county residents and businesses must begin using approved steel bear-proof containers, steel curbside enclosures, or centralized all steel bear-proof dumpsters or dumpster sheds. The only plastic (or “poly”) cart that is acceptable are IPL Inc.-brand 95-gallon containers with steel reinforcements and locking mechanisms certified bear proof by the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee and Living with Wildlife Foundation Bear-Resistant Products Testing Program. The Wildlife Protection Ordinance requires this step because of the repeated failure of most other containers. Please note that containers that are not latched or are overfilled are not bear-proof and constitute a violation of the ordinance.Pitkin County will prioritize enforcement in specific subdivisions and neighborhoods where there has been significant and repeated failure of refuse containers. These areas (listed below) must begin using county-approved bear-proof refuse containers as described above by Sept. 10, 2004:Aspen Airport Business CenterAspen VillageBrush Creek VillageMountain ValleyNorth 40Phillips Trailer ParkRed Mountain subdivisions (e.g., Red Mountain Ranch, Ridge of Red Mountain, Pitkin Green)Redstone and all residences within a five-mile radiusSnowmass Creek Road above Watson Divide Road (including Shield-O Mesa and Shield-O Terrace)Twinning Flats areaUpper River Road, Liberty Lane, Little Texas, Woody Creek, and LenadoWest ButtermilkIf compliance with this notice and ordinance 010-2001 is not achieved within the designated time frame, a Notice of Violation will be issued. Penalties will be assessed according to the following schedule:First Notice of Violation:WarningSecond NOV: $350Third NOV: $1,000The Wildlife Protection Ordinance, bear-proof container resource list, and information on American black bears can be found at http://www.aspenpitkin.com/ depts/33/bears.cfm. Please visit the Living with Wildlife Foundation’s website (www.lwwf.org/) for more information on their Bear-Resistant Products Testing Program. For additional information please contact Pitkin County Wildlife Biologist Jonathan Lowsky at 920-5395 or Solid Waste Manager Chris Hoofnagle at 923-3487. Sincerely,Jonathan Lowskywildlife biologistChris Hoofnaglesolid waste manager
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
AS OF MONDAY, JULY 26