The third annual Living With Bears events scheduled next week will feature Karelian Bear Dogs, electric fence vouchers and tips for how to set up fences and other advice for making smart choices in bear country.
“It’s just a positive way to educate the community about proactive steps they can take to keep bears safe and to keep themselves safe and to keep bears out of their gardens and compost and fruit trees,” said Takshanuk Watershed Council education coordinator Tracy Wirak-Cassidy.
Events include demonstrations from biologists at the public library on April 28 and a presentation to kindergarten through eighth graders on April 27. Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists will discuss bear attractants and The Wind River Bear Institute’s Nils Pedersen will also show off his Karelian Bear Dogs to students.
“He’s going to do a couple skits that show why bears are interested in bear attractants like bird feeders and chicken coops and garbage and how to secure bear attractants using bear resistant containers, electric fences and how his dogs are trained to help teach bears to stay out of certain areas,” Wirak-Cassidy said.
Similar programs are scheduled the following day for the public at the Haines Borough Public Library from 5 to 7 p.m. Outdoor stations will inform interested residents how to set up electric fences and how to use bear spray. Residents can also meet the dogs during this time. Afterward, a Fish and Game biologist will give a formal presentation about bear behaviors, attractants and how to stay safe when recreating in bear country. An informal question-and-answer session will follow.
“Folks are encouraged to stick around,” Wirak-Cassidy said. “Defenders of Wildlife will be around with vouchers where people can get up to 50 percent off for electric fences. Bear hides will be on display. Police will be there to answer people’s questions.”