With summer in full swing, wildlife sightings and reports on are on the rise in the Anchorage Area. Life in bear (and moose) country requires vigilance as well as adherence to local regulations.
Store Tipsters in Garages
JBER authorities have reported an increase in refuse related violations for the 2017 season. Tipsters are by far the most common refuse receptacle in the Anchorage area, as when used correctly, they are the most effective means of reducing wildlife activity in a neighborhood. Correct use of a tipster requires that it be stored inside a garage, this reduces the chance of attracting animals and prevents them from gaining access if they do wander into a neighborhood. The fact that bears enjoy digging through trash is not a unique JBER or Aurora Military Housing phenomenon; animals like food and will seek it out when it is placed within their reach. Our policies on tipster storage are crafted around substantiated knowledge of animal behavior, and align directly with wildlife statutes and requirements across the state of Alaska.
What about bear resistant tipsters?
We sometimes receive inquiries about bear resistant tipsters. Bear resistant tipsters are presently not available on JBER. The majority of Anchorage neighborhoods do not use them either. While they can help prevent wildlife from accessing trash, they do nothing if not stored correctly to address the prevailing challenge in bear country- preventing animals from being attracted to neighborhoods. We will continue to work with installation wildlife experts to track and deploy measures to reduce wildlife activity in neighborhoods; at this time, our approach requires promotion and adherence to responsible tipster storage.
Keep Trash in Dumpsters
If your neighborhood has dumpsters, be sure items are placed inside of the dumpster, not left outside. If a dumpster is full, placing items outside is an open invitation for wildlife to enter the neighborhood.
Remove Bird Feeders and Gardens
Bears love bird feeders and moose love gardens. Bird Feeders are permitted in the winter months (October 30 to April 1) whilst bears are in hibernation, however they should be stowed away during the summer. Gardens can attract moose to your yard, while majestic, endearing and extraordinarily photogenic, moose can be just as dangerous as bears when protecting their young.
Keep Food Inside
Pet food that is stored outside can attract wildlife. So can food remaining from barbecues. The smell alone can attract animals, so maintaining an exterior area free of food and cleaning up after barbecues or picnics is another necessary step to reduce wildlife activity.
If aggressive or threatening wildlife is sighted in a neighborhood, it should be reported directly to JBER Security Forces at 907.552.3421. Security Forces will dispatch Conservation Law Enforcement personnel. They use a variety of techniques to track, deter, and maintain wildlife populations on the installation; reports from residents greatly assist their efforts in promoting a safe environment for all.
It is illegal to feed wildlife in the state of Alaska. Activities such as leaving trash outside, improper storage of trash, leaving pet food outside, stocking bird feeders during the summer months, dumping grease on the ground, literally walking up to a moose and handing it cabbage, etc. all constitute feeding and can result in a citation. These citations are issued by JBER Conservation Law Enforcement, either from observations made on patrol or reports from neighbors.
Observations made by our staff in violation of state, installation,or housing policies will be addressed with a grounds ticket. These tickets are warnings and carry no monetary penalty, however failure to comply can result in escalation through your chain of command.
Alaska Department of Fish and Game- “Living in Harmony with Bears and Food”
Alaska Dispatch News- “Here are strategies for staying safe in bear country”