Mammoth is Feeding the Bears by Cindy Walters
I’ve been fortunate enough to be living in Mammoth for the last month on a sabbatical. Prior to this time, I’ve visited Mammoth for years and years and have been under the impression that the town does a wonderful job of “not feeding the bears.” However, since I’ve been living here, I’ve realized this may not be the case.
I often walk the bike path from Eagle Lodge down to Lodestar Drive and back. In the past month, I’ve been shocked to see the same garbage dumpster raided by bears on numerous occasions. I’m sure there are other dumpsters in town that have problems, but almost every time I walk past the dumpster at the end of Lodestar Drive, I see trash on the ground and bike path, and evidence of bears (tracks and scat).
I’m no bear expert, but I’ve read the recent articles about how well Yosemite has done with its efforts to stop feeding their bears, and I’ve also heard that bears that are habituated to human food often have more confrontational or otherwise negative interactions with humans.
What is Mammoth Disposal or the town doing to fix this problem? From my perspective on the ground — the answer appears to be “nothing.”
For a community that prides itself on not feeding its bears, Mammoth’s wildlife sure appear to be feasting on human garbage an awful lot.