You can get fined for not bear-proofing your home

DENVER -- Colorado Parks and Wildlife has a stern warning for people who live in wilderness areas: please bear-proof your home.

This includes removing bird feeders, using bear-proof garbage cans, not putting trash out until the morning it's collected, shutting garage doors and keeping house doors locked.

If a bear gets food or trash from your home, state law requires you to legally remove the food source. If you don't, you can be warned, then fined.

CPW fines start at $50.

Starting in 2019, CPW implemented a new system to track wildlife calls and responses.

So far this year, the agency has received 3,687 calls/reports of bear activity. In 2,368 cases, CPW offered advice and education. And in 787 cases, CPW responded in-person.

So far this year, 80 bears have been euthanized for various reasons, including human interactions and attacking livestock.

Last year, 63 bears were euthanized and in 2017, 216 bears were. That large number is partially because a late freeze killed a lot of the bears' natural food.

Meanwhile, Pitkin County and Aspen are seeing an increase in bear activity.

Aspen has had more than 250 calls about bears, including 20 cases in which the animals have gotten into homes.

Aspen has given out 17 trash-related fines, while nearby Snowmass has given out 19.

The fines in Aspen start at $250, and go up to $999 and a mandatory court appearance for the third offense.

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