Governor’s Proclamation, Spring-like Weather Remind Alaskans to Be Bear Aware
- ADF&G Press Release

Sam Cotten, Commissioner
P.O. Box 115526
Juneau, Alaska 99811-5526

Press Release: April 2, 2015

Riley Woodford, Juneau, (907) 465-4256
Cathie Harms, Fairbanks, (907) 459-7231
Ken Marsh, Anchorage, (907) 267-2892

Governor’s Proclamation, Spring-like Weather Remind Alaskans to Be Bear Aware

(Statewide) — Gov. Bill Walker has proclaimed April “Bear Awareness Month” and with many parts of Alaska experiencing unseasonably warm temperatures, bears will be emerging from their dens at any time. To keep bears wild and neighborhoods safe, biologists say now is the time to take down bird feeders and place trash, livestock feed and pet foods indoors or in bear-resistant containers.

“I’ve heard rumors that a bear or two have been seen around Anchorage and Eagle River,” said Anchorage wildlife biologist Dave Battle.

“Right now is the time to be proactive – before we start getting a lot of calls and complaints – and take down bird feeders and clean up any seed, trash or pet food left out over the winter.”

To prevent drawing bears, bird feeders should be taken down now and kept down through October. Pet and livestock foods, trash and other bear attractants should be gathered and stored in a garage, sturdy shed, or in bear-resistant containers. Owners of poultry, goats and other small livestock can discourage bear raids by erecting electric fences. Bears that associate homes and people with food, often return. Feeding bears, even unintentionally, is illegal and leaving attractants out around homes, cabins or camps in a manner that attracts bears can result in fines.

Some tips to remember as bears wake up and become active include:

  • Garbage - Store trash inside buildings or in bear-proof containers; keep secured until the day of scheduled pickup. Encourage neighbors to do the same.
  • Electric fences - Electric fences can keep bears out of gardens, compost, and away from buildings, chicken coops, and domestic animals. For more information, contact your area department office or the visit the department webpage at
  • Barbecues - Clean barbecue grills, especially grease traps, after each use.
  • Pets - Feed pets indoors or clean up excess and spilled food between meals. Store pet food, livestock food and birdseed indoors or in bear-resistant containers.
  • Bird Feeders – Take feeders down April through October, store out of bears’ reach and remove spilled seeds.
  • Freezers - Keep freezers locked in a secure building or otherwise out of bears’ reach.
  • Gardens - Plant gardens in the open, away from cover and game trails. Only compost raw vegetable matter and turn over compost frequently.

To learn more about coexisting with bears, visit For a statewide schedule of bear awareness and safety presentations, see

The governor’s “Bear Awareness Month” proclamation is available at