Please read the following information

Welcome to Lake Tahoe!  We hope your experience here is a memorable one.

Just in case you were not aware of it, there are numerous black bears throughout the Tahoe basin. The opportunity to see one of these magnificent animals has become more and more likely.  The primary reason for this is that in the past several years, people have introduced unnatural foods into the bear's regular diet. These new foods are: garbage, trash, pet food, and bird seed.  Some folks even think it is a Kodak moment to attempt to hand-feed a bear.  It might seem a great photo opportunity to see a bear pick his way through a turned-over trash can or to photograph a bear scurrying up a tree.  Many people make the mistake of calling out the rest of the family, the household dog, and all the neighbors to watch.  Hours later they wonder why the bear is still up the tree.  Black bears climb trees for many reasons, one of which is fear.  The only way to get them down is to leave them alone and move the family, dogs and neighbors completely out of sight.  In other words, leave them alone.

Providing the foods that are "natural" to humans is "unnatural" to bears.  It attracks them to our garbage.  If they then become a "nuisance," it may cause their DEATH since, in California, bears that become a problem are not relocated. They are trapped and shot to death in the trap. So, the bear you photographed eating Snoopy's dog food may well be dead next week. If it happen to be a mother with cubs, they all DIE.

Please help to preserve the bear's right to share our world with us by following these simple suggestions.  We think they will make your bear experience enjoyable.

  1. DO NOT leave trash or garbage out overnight unless it's in a "bear-proof" steel container.  Put it out on the day of pick up.  Put ammonia or Pine Sol inside every bag.
  2. DO NOT leave any trash on your deck or in crawl spaces under the house.  Bears have an extremely good sense of smell and can detect odors through closed doors.  A flimsy door leading to a crawl space is almost non-existent to a bear.
  3. DO NOT leave pet food out on decks overnight.  Take it inside.
  4. DO NOT leave a window (screened or not) open with freshly baked goods or other foods on the kitchen counter.  Remember if bears can smell it, they will try to get it.
  5. DO NOT leave food or ice chests on decks or in vehicles.  Bears can smell food, lotions, gum, toothpaste, etc. in your trunk or glove compartment.
  6. DO clean all trash containers with ammonia, bleach, or Pine Sol.
  7. DO clean BBQ.  Allow the fire to burn off all food particles.
  8. DO remember that it is illegal to feed bears.  The fine is $1,000 or 6 months in jail.

When hiking or in the back country, make plenty of noise.  If you do encounter a bear, DO NOT run. Slowly back off and allow the bear room to pass or withdraw.  Black bear attacks are extremely rare; however, they may "bluff" you with a charge or "huff and blow" which means, "I'm so afraid.  Please leave me alone."   There is a greater chance of serious injury from a bee sting or lightning.

Above all, enjoy your visit to Lake Tahoe, and if you do happen to see a bear, be responsible and follow these suggestions.  By doing so, your bear experience will still be a memorable one.
If you desire any additional information, please contact us–BEAR League 530-525-PAWS (7292)