Judge upholds ruling in bear-feeding suit
An appeals court in Minden has upheld a Stateline judge’s ruling that found a Kingsbury Grade resident at fault for attracting bears to his neighborhood.
In January, Judge Richard Glasson, of Douglas County’s Tahoe Justice Court, ruled that Anthony Citko had attracted bears to Glen Court by setting out food for wildlife.
Glasson ordered Citko to pay Jerry Hall, who lived next to Citko at the end of last year, nearly $2,300 for damage that a bear did after it got inside the driver’s side of Hall’s truck.
On Friday, Douglas County District Judge Michael Gibbons ruled in support of Glasson’s decision in part because it was “supported by testimony from several persons regarding Citko’s feeding the bears and the propensity of bears to visit the area around Citko’s home.”
Citko reacted to the appellate ruling on Tuesday: “No big deal, that’s fine. That’s pretty much what we expected. You wouldn’t want to hear my comments.”
In his appeal, Citko had claimed that Tahoe Justice Court lacks the authority to require that residents do not feed wildlife because Nevada has no law that restricts the activity.
Gibbons found that Glasson has the power to stop illegal acts and that Douglas County code makes it “unlawful – through negligence or otherwise – to allow bears to access to residentially stored foodstuffs.”
“Judge Glasson, in an effort to avoid a breach of the peace by marauding bears rampaging through a residential neighborhood in search of food, has sought to curtail a practice likely to attract them, and thereby potentially endangering the neighborhood, namely Citko’s feeding wild animals,” Gibbons stated in his ruling. “This court deems the justice court’s action to be within the power conferred upon it by the Nevada Legislature.”
– Gregory Crofton can be reached at (530) 542-8045 or by e-mail at email@example.com