I would like to thank IVGID Trustee Bill Devine for his thoughtful and mostly civil guest column regarding his recent experience with bears, bear advocates and NDOW.
His column makes it very clear that Incline Village needs a mandatory bear-proof trash container ordinance, and that it needs to be enforced.
This should be a collaborative effort among community members, IVGID, Washoe County, law enforcement, NDOW, Waste Management, local business owners and representatives from both the BEAR League and NoBearHuntNV, who have a wealth of experience in these matters.
I am an Incline Village homeowner. I have lived at Lake Tahoe since 1956 and have never had a problem with bears. I take the reasonable precautions expressed by Madonna Dunbar through IVGIDʼs Stash Your Trash Program, who has done so much to educate our communities about living with bears.
Incline Village and NDOW have become the poster children in our region for how not to handle the occasional nuisance bear “problem.”
While it might very rarely be necessary to trap and relocate a “nuisance” bear, trapped bears are often killed, cubs separated from their mother, or the wrong bear caught in the trap altogether.
If we simply take away the feeding opportunities that we have provided, bears will seek their food where they have always done, in the forest.
IVGID, through its trustees, have an opportunity to do the right thing here. As Trustee Devine has encouraged local bear advocates, and I am one, to do something constructive, I challenge Mr. Devine and the IVGID board to do the same.
Focus on educating property managers, their tourist clients, and second homeowners about living in “bear country.” Enact a mandatory bear-proof trash container ordinance, and enforce it.