Letter to the editor: Bear-proof trash cans would help deter trash bears
September 17, 2012
Regarding the article on human-bear conflicts on the Nevada side of Lake Tahoe printed Friday, Sept. 14, 2012. I have one answer for the problem: bear-proof trash cans! All the bear diversion tactics used to keep bears away from our trash cans mentioned in the article are well-intentioned, but let’s make it simple: mandate all residents of Lake Tahoe to use bear-proof trash cans. We currently let bears have access to our trash, which means we are feeding them and it is against the law to feed wild bears! I have backpacked the Sierra Mountains in and around Tahoe for 30 years and have seen what a difference bear-proof food canisters have made in the wilderness. We backpackers used to hang our food from trees in the hopes the bear wouldn’t get to it. Once bear-proof canisters were introduced, we were able to carry our food into the wilderness, leave it on the ground in the bear proof canister and the bears would roll it around, but would not get our food! Let’s do that here at the lake. Surely we Tahoe residents can afford $69 for a heavy-duty, screw-top trash can! Will garbage bears without access to our trash then enter our homes for food? Probably. Look, we let our lake bears produce generations of trash bears, now we have to deal with our mistakes. Letting bears eat our trash is a mistake. Here something to think about: Why don’t we let the licensed bear hunters in Nevada kill the nuisance trash bears instead of the innocent wild bears they now kill?
South Lake Tahoe