Bears in the Foothills

We’re sorry to hear that last month a California black bear lumbered out of the foothills and snooped around the upscale homes of La Canada, stopping to eat four backyard chickens at a home on Bonita Vista Drive. This incident was only one of several recent bear sightings in the Northeast Los Angeles area.

We know some citizens may be a little nervous about ursine critters in backyards, and we can certainly understand why Assemblyman Anthony Portantino (D-La Cañada Flintridge) announced a public panel on May 19 to discuss wildlife safety measures.

But we here in SoCal have to realize that we are sharing space with wildlife – and that means we are going to bump elbows with each other. The question is: how much bumping is really going on? And…can we detour bears from investigating our turf in the first place?

We’re glad that at the May 19 meeting California Department of Fish and Game representatives will discuss practical advice and offer precautions residents can take against wildlife intrusions.

We expect some citizens will advocate for authorities to take strong measures against the bears; but it’s Fish and Game policy to not interfere with bears unless they become aggressive toward people or pose an imminent public safety threat.

The May 19 meeting takes place at 7:30 p.m. at the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Station. Phone number there is (818) 248-3464.

— Brenda Rees, editor