Fawnskin Bears

Everyone is talking about the bear activity around town. Because Fawnskin is adjacent to the San Bernardino Forest, we often get wildlife throughout town.

The difference this year is that two yearling bears are working to sort out just what they need to do since they left mom and have to make their own way in the world.

I’ve written about this before (see links at the end of the article) but want to encourage you to pressure your neighbors into compliance for the safety of both the animals and Fawnskin Folks.

Calif. Code of Regulations 251.3 – “Prohibits feeding of big game mammals.”
Punishable by $1,000 fine and/or 6 months in jail or both!

So far, the youngsters run or climb up a tree during encounters but at least one neighbor is intentionally feeding wildlife.

You might have heard, “A fed bear is a dead bear.” And I don’t know about you but I certainly don’t want that to be the case around here.

So far, coyotes are turning up in larger numbers and the feeding is taking place not too far where one of the adolescent bears has taken up residence.

Anyway, the neighbor’s selfish act of feeding predators is likely to cost the life of the bear or a coyote.

Just this week a neighbor lost a small dog that was suspected of being taken off the deck by a predator.

Feeding wild animals is never a good idea since they become habituated animals. This means they lose their fear of humans and become nuisance animals.

People have been calling the San Bernardino Sheriff’s office but still continue to leave sources of food and water out which attracts them.

Simple solutions are to remove bird feeders at dusk or scatter limited amounts of bird seed on the ground so the avian clan clears it up. In addition, dump water sources at night, move pet food inside, and secure trash.

Need help finding bear proof trash cans?

Sightings in the area include two yearlings, a sow (their mom), a light colored bear, and a bruin that looks like he has mange.

According to hikers, the one close to town has established himself near a water source up on the private land up above Cedar Dell and Brookside.

He ventures down near the houses that back up to the forest.

The California Department of Fish & Game chatted about the bear during the Town Hall meeting. Wildlife is their jurisdiction and DFG has a whole Keep Me Wild campaign to educate people about living with bears and other wildlife.

Many Fawnskin Folks are concerned about the bear and I wanted to let you know about the three categories DFG uses when it comes to responding to reported bear problems:

Category 1 – (“No Harm- No Foul bear”) A non-habituated bear has strayed into a populated area and does not return to bear habitat. In most situations, removal of the attractants from the area will cause the bear to return to wild habitat and only phone contact with the reporting party will be necessary. Site response is only necessary in cases where a bear does not leave, or if other knowledge indicates that either the safety of the bear or the public is compromised. Techniques to cause (haze) the bear to leave may include, but are not limited to the use of non-lethal projectiles (e.g. rubber slug shot shells or sling shot projectiles) to drive the bear away and/or “bear” dogs to chase and haze the bear out of the area. Unless otherwise specified by a supervisor, a Department employee shall accompany any persons using dogs to chase or haze bears. Tranquilizing and removing the bear can be used if other methods are determined to be unsafe or have been unsuccessful.

Category 2 – (Habituated bear) A bear has become habituated to humans and may be a nuisance problem (no property damage involved) by tipping over garbage cans, invading compost piles, walking across porches, etc. Bears that have been previously captured and removed, but return to areas of human habitation are included in this category. The responder should continue to recommend reasonable corrective measures as a long-term solution to the problem. Reasonable corrective measures include, but are not limited to area clean-up, removal of trash or other food attractants, bear-proofing food storage areas, electric fencing, temporary closure of campsites, and/or the techniques listed in Category 1 above. Habituated bears are not candidates for moving and shall either be humanely euthanized or placed with a permitted animal care facility upon failure of the corrective measures.

Category 3 – (Depredation bear) A bear has caused real property damage to dwellings, structures, vehicles, apiaries, other man-made objects. If the damage is minor and there are no other previous reports of damage, the implementation of reasonable corrective measures to remove the attractants as outlined for Category 2 bears should be followed. If the situation worsens or damage is considered substantial in the opinion of the responder, corrective measures shall be made prior to, or in addition to, issuing a depredation permit pursuant to Fish and Game Code Section 4181. In cases where a bear has caused extensive and/or chronic damage to private property, such as injured or killed livestock, entered into an unoccupied home or cabin, or repeated damage where corrective or bear-proofing efforts have failed, the Department shall issue a depredation permit, if the property owner requests one. If the property owner does not want a depredation permit, the Department shall continue to advise on measures which need to be taken to prevent further property damage.

As provided for in Section 4181.1 of the Fish and Game Code, landowners or their employees may kill a bear encountered in the act of molesting or injuring livestock as long as this taking is reported to the Department by the next working day. The carcass must be made available to the Department. After investigation, an after-the-fact depredation permit can be issued.

Thanks to Snoop Sister Deb & Pup-arazzi Mike for the photos. Use caution when meandering around town at dawn or dusk.

Beware Bears!

 Previous Black Bear Articles

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012 and is filed under Mountain Lake Resort, Mountain Wildlife, Small Town Living.

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2 Responses to “Fawnskin Bears

  • 1
    Joan Cline
    July 11th, 2012 11:13

    Nice post, GG! Very informative. Mangey Mama bear’s been on my deck several times, and one of the cubs as well.
    Hope all’s well with you. I’ve been up and down the hill quite a bit this past year and have lost track of half of my friends during the Facebook switch to Timeline.

  • 2
    GG (Gossip Girl)
    July 11th, 2012 16:21

    Thanks for stopping by. Things are good at GG’s Grotto which is now known by the birds as the “Party Perch” with lots of big mouthed babies around!