Chelan County Considers Response After Bear Attack In Leavenworth
Chelan County Commissioners are considering a plan of action after a bear attacked and injured a woman late last month in Leavenworth.
The state Department of Fish and Wildlife has recommendations for keeping bears from entering into populated areas.
They include bear-proofing all trash containers in the city, which Commissioner Bob Bugert thinks would be prohibitively expensive to carry out on the county level.
"Their estimate just for implementing the bear containers and these other measures is somewhere in the neighborhood of three to three-point five million dollars," said Bugert.
Commissioners are instead looking at trying to educate residents in heavy populated bear areas of the county about ways to reduce interaction with bears.
The Department of Fish and Wildlife will make a presentation to the Leavenworth City Council on its recommendations, which in addition to stocking universal bear-proof trash cans, would include restricting trash from being put outside to only the day of collection and limit the use of bird feeders in the city.
Bugert said the department does not think the unincorporated county area has an issue with bear presence to the level of the city of Leavenworth, although there has been some unwanted human/bear interaction in the Lake Wenatchee area.
Commissioners and staff Monday discussed the possibility of using Chelan County Waste Management as a partner to distribute educational information to protect against bear interaction.
Bugert says he favors using information provided by Fish and Wildlife to educate county residents.
"They've got some great materials on bear awareness, and increasing our capability to prevent any kind of bear-human conflict going on," Bugert said.
The black bear attacked a 68-year-old woman on the morning of Oct. 22 in Enchantment Park in Leavenworth. The woman was taken to Cascade Medical Center to treat her injuries sustained from the attack.
Department of Fish and Wildlife personnel tracked down the bear in the park later that day and killed the mammal. Her two cubs were taken to a rehabilitation facility.
County commissioners Monday agreed to work with Fish and Wildlife personnel, including Region 2 Wildlife Conflict Specialist Joe Bridges, on bear educational efforts for county residents.