Former councilor James Robinson and Jillian Rubio, PEEC executive director at Tuesday’s County Council meeting.
BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council on Tuesday evening declared the month of August as “Bear Month” in Los Alamos County. The proclamation was accepted by former councilor James Robinson and Jillian Rubio, executive director of Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).
Robinson noted that over the past five years since the County began with just educating the community about bears, to Council reaffirming the commitment to keep the community safe by pledging $2.4 million to acquiring the tools needed. He said the new bear-proof trash containers look like they’re a nice piece of equipment to deter bears.
“I really appreciate you all reaffirming that as I know costs have gone up and I know it’s always a hard decision on the allocation of resources. I appreciate you all passing that to get those tools to us.,” Robinson said. “I want to encourage everyone to continue to learn about bears and join us Aug. 26-27 as we enjoy the wonderful creatures of our community.”
The proclamation reads as follows:
WHEREAS: Los Alamos is blessed with an abundance of wildlife, and healthy wildlife populations have a positive impact on the Los Alamos community – our community is notably home to the American Black Bear; and
WHEREAS: Five key bear-safety practices should be added to our daily routines and recreational activities. When out in the wilderness, make noise so that a bear is not surprised by human presence, stay alert and actively look for signs of bears; never approach or crowd bears: keep food, garbage, and other attractants out of reach of bears; stay calm during a bear encounter, and do not run; and
WHEREAS: Humans can also reduce the likelihood of bear encounters around the home by removing bird feeders, securing garbage in bear-resistant containers, not feeding bears, planting gardens away from game trails, and frequently turning compost; and
WHEREAS: The Los Alamos County Council approved, and the Los Alamos County Environmental Services invested $2.4 million in “Operation Save the Bears,” an initiative to deploy bear-resistant dumpsters and roll carts from June 2022 to June 2023 to all Los Alamos County businesses and residential households so they may safely secure trash to deter inquisitive and hungry bears from “dumpster diving,” which puts them at risk for being captured and re-located; and
WHEREAS: The Pajarito Environmental Education Center and Century Bank will host New Mexico’s only Bear Festival on August 27th at the Los Alamos Nature Center located at 2600 Canyon Road from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. where local, regional and state organizations will educate New Mexicans on keeping human and bear populations safe through games and fun activities.
NOW, THEREFORE, on behalf of the Council of the Incorporated County of Los Alamos, I do hereby designate August 2022 as: “BEAR MONTH”and urge our citizens to participate in this event and other bear events hosted by the Pajarito Environmental Education Center by visitinghttps://peecnature.org/ to learn about bear safety and responsibility for peaceful coexistence with these remarkable animals so that they can continue to thrive across our county and state for generations to come.