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DEC urges residents to be ‘BearWise’ this spring

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) has issued a reminder for residents to secure food sources outdoors to avoid attracting black bears this spring. As bears emerge from hibernation, they often seek out accessible food in residential areas, increasing the risk of human-bear conflicts.

DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos highlighted the importance of removing or securing potential bear attractants such as bird feeders, garbage, and outdoor grills. Seggos advised residents to empty bird feeders, secure garbage in sturdy buildings, and clean grills to prevent bear encounters.

The DEC emphasized the dangers of feeding bears, noting that it is both illegal and harmful. By following BearWise practices, New Yorkers can help keep bears wild and reduce the potential for conflict. The agency encourages residents to visit its website and for more tips on coexisting safely with bears.