Wildlife on move around Snowmass Village, encounters increasing
Bear do’s and don’t’sHere are suggestions to discourage bear-human encounters: • Use wildlife-resistant garbage containers, and keep them in a secured area until trash day. • Keep all pet food within your home or in a secure container, and feed pets inside. • Do not use bird-feeders in the summer or fall. • Thoroughly clean barbecue grills after each use. • Avoid the use of citronella and scented candles, which can attract bears. • Keep windows and doors locked. • Never feed wildlife, of any type.
As weather warms and the wildlife continues to move, there has been an increase in activity around Snowmass Village from foxes to bears and fawns to moose.
In recent weeks, the display board coming into Snowmass on Brush Creek Road is warning residents and visitors of more bear activity. People should lock their car doors, and if they see a bear give it space, wildlife officials warn.
Earlier in June, Police Chief Brian Olson said they were keeping track of about a half-dozen bears that have been roaming through the village this spring.
He said last week they continue to watch a couple of bears that are the main ones trying to break into cars.
Animal services officer Tina White said they received between three and six calls a day about bears as the rain started to hold off and the weather warmed.
One had a police escort through the Mall on a quiet Wednesday afternoon in early June. There have been sightings of a mother bear with three cubs of different colors this spring.
Homeowners should put away bird and hummingbird feeders that are in a bruin’s reach, lock vehicles and secure all trash dumpsters and remember to lock them after using, she said.
“Bird feeders are a big attraction and they don’t need to be fed right now anyway,” White said. “Bears are good reminder to put stuff away. People are learning the hard way.”
Signs are up warning of moose activity in the village, especially around the golf course and the Brush Creek valley toward Highway 82.
“Moose are back on course,” she said. “Bull moose have been seen crossing the road and moving through. They’re around again. We’re happy they’re here. And people need to give them their space.”
One disappointment last month was one of the beavers that lived in the pond at the entrance to town near the rodeo area was found dead on the side of the road. White said there are others in the pond.
The beaver carcass, like much road kill in the area, was moved off the road but left for other animals to forage on, she said.
All of the biking and hiking trails around Snowmass are open after the last of the seasonal trail closures ended June 21. There are some temporary trail closures for wildlife, including one this week on the Melton Ranch Trail near the Woodbridge area because of a doe and fawn resting in the area.
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On Sept. 11, a small group of local Roaring Fork Fire Rescue responders walked 3 miles from Snowmass Town Park to the Top of the Village for the fifth annual Axes and Arms 9/11 Climb.