Bear-proof garbage containers urged at Tahoe |

Bear-proof garbage containers urged at Tahoe

KINGS BEACH, Calif. – Bears soon may find their search for food more frustrating on Lake Tahoe’s north shore.

Bear-proof garbage containers would have to be installed at all new Placer County houses at Tahoe under a plan being considered by county supervisors.

Earlier this month, the North Tahoe Regional Advisory Council decided to urge supervisors to impose the requirement on all new homes constructed above 5,000 feet in the county.

At the same time, council members recommended that all home remodeling work exceeding $3,000 require the installation of the containers.

Ann Bryant, founder of a citizens group formed to reduce human-bear conflicts at Tahoe, said the requirement would help discourage bears from heading into residential areas in search of an easy meal.

”If you’re gonna live here, you’ve gotta live here responsibly,” Bryant told the Tahoe World newspaper. ”There’s always people who won’t (install a bear-proof container) no matter what, unless there’s a law.”

Bryant, president of the BEAR League, told the council that a large majority of the calls she receives concern garbage-related incidents.

The trash containers under consideration are large, tight-seamed, metal boxes that cost about $800.

”The only time a bear gets into them is if the person forgets to latch (the doors),” Bryant said.

But she said many of the boxes now are being built with a new latch mechanism that makes it more difficult to leave them open.

Many Tahoe homes now have visually appealing wooden trash containers along streets. While the containers offer more protection than regular trash cans, they pose little challenge to bears.

Human-bear conflicts have been on the rise at Tahoe over the last decade because of the region’s growth.

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