Thursday, October 9, 2014

DEC To Address Lake Placid Bear Problems

black_bear_mammalState Department of Environmental Conservation wildlife technician Ben Tabor said his department had a high number of calls about nuisance black bears in Lake Placid this summer, leading DEC officials to host an informational meeting on the topic at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery on Thursday, Oct. 16.

Tabor said there were about six bears feeding in dumpsters in Lake Placid, including some on Main Street. The DEC started receiving calls about them in early July, and the complaints continued into September.

The goal of the meeting is to educate business owners and local residents about ways to curb the problem, Tabor said. He said removing nuisance bears isn’t the solution because others will replace them.

“Our research says remove the attraction,” he said.

In this case, that means putting garbage off limits by using electric fences or bear-proof garbage containers. Bill Meyers, a local representative for Casella Waste Management, will be on hand to talk about the issue. Lake Placid/North Elba code enforcement officer Jim Morganson will also be there.

Tabor said the majority of bear complaints this summer in the Adirondack Park were a result of bears going after garbage that wasn’t stored in bear-proof containers.  The DEC has also received calls about bears breaking into camps and cars in Old Forge, Inlet, and Indian Lake, Tabor said.

“Across the Park, garbage is probably the biggest problem,” Tabor said.

It is illegal to intentionally feed bears. People who unintentionally feed bears receive warning tickets. DEC can issue a ticket for a second offense.

Black bears attacks on people are extremely rare, although one did kill a man who was hiking in New Jersey in September.

Tabor will also talk about black bear natural history and food habits, human-caused conflicts with bears, DEC’s response to human-bear conflicts, and the future of bear management in New York State.

The meeting at the Lake Placid Pub and Brewery on Mirror Lake Drive will run from 9:30 to 11 a.m. It is open to the public.

Photo provided: The state Department of Environmental Conservation says it received a high number of complaints about black bears, like this one shown here, getting into garbages in Lake Placid this past summer.


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Mike Lynch is a staff writer and photographer for the nonprofit Adirondack Explorer, the regional bimonthly news magazine with a focus on outdoor recreation and environmental issues. Mike’s favorite outdoor activities include paddling, hiking, fishing and backcountry skiing. In 2011, he paddled the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail from Old Forge to Fort Kent, Maine. From 2007 until 2014, Mike worked as an outdoors writer and photographer for the Adirondack Daily Enterprise in Saranac Lake. Mike welcomes story ideas and can be reached at

14 Responses

  1. Pete Klein says:

    There aren’t any bear problems. There are only human problems.

  2. Dan Crane says:

    It isn’t nuisance bears that are the problem, but nuisance people. Unfortunately, it is usually the bears that have to pay for it.

  3. Charlie S says:

    Amen to both comments above.

  4. Paul says:

    Is there free beer?

  5. Marisa says:

    Who is paying for this meeting at the pub?

  6. An says:

    Why doesn’t the state employ Karelian bear dogs? Or Norwegian Elk hounds…? Breeds that are known to be effective in keeping bears away. The dogs and a few rubber pellets to the backside are usually enough to make the bears say “it’s not worth trying to go to the dumpster”.

    That said – humans have to do better in not making it inviting for bears.

    • Paul says:

      This is kind of reminds me of the kids book The King the Mice and the Cheese. The king is having trouble with too many mice stealing his cheese so he brings in the cats. Then he has a problem with too many cats so he brings in the dogs. Then too many dogs so he brings in the lions….etc.

      If they keep trash in the garage till it is time to pick it up that should do it. Seeing a bear once an a while is a treat.

  7. AG says:

    Cute… But i’m not talking about reckless abandon. Small teams do it in Canada and Alaska.

  8. Nick Evetts says:

    Being married to a PSC Forestry Alum, I guess I can say I’m Bear-wise and would have to agree on the problem being with folks who don’t follow the Rules

  9. Don Dew Jr says:

    As a former Captain of the Lake Placid based tour boat the Doris we use to say that it was illegal to go anywhere in Lake Placid with a bear behind!

  10. adkman says:

    I think being nice to the bears would work best. can we pet them?

  11. Charlie S says:

    The police shot and killed another bear near Schenectady a few days ago.It was a wandering bear in a residential neighborhood who sat up in a tree for a few days as gawkers looked on.Finally it came down and tranquilizer darts had no effect and the bear started running and boom boom boom…the police shot and killed it.Police are trained to shoot and kill they are so good at it. The poor bear was scared sheetless who could blame it with big ugly humans gawking around.

    There’s hardly the green space for wild animals to roam freely anymore it has all been chopped up and subdivided. I suppose we can blame the special interests green groups for that.

    The newspaper reports that authorities had hoped to capture and relocate the bear but we all know how the authorities are… they do everything in half measures or in a way that expedites the process so as to be done with it whatever it takes to save dollars in man-hours.A mindset ingrained. Maybe my sensitivity to this event has me over-extrapolating but surely I cannot be far off.

  12. jim w says:

    they trap the nuisance bears an let them go in other areas like in lewis co. where they break in to camps looking for food

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