State 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.