Ashland Residents Concerned About Bears

bearASHLAND, Ore. — The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife said there’s a simple solution to dealing with bears wandering through neighborhoods in Ashland: don’t feed them, whether it’s on purpose or by accident.

The Ashland Parks and Recreation Department had received multiple reports of cinnamon-colored black bears being seen in the Glenview area, as well as around the higher elevations in Lithia Park. Aside from knocking over some trash cans and getting into yards and compost piles, the animals have not caused any serious incidents.

The bears typically roam out of the hills and into neighborhoods in search of food, according to Mark Vargas with ODFW. The bears are attracted to food smells from trash, barbeque pits, dog food, and bird feeders. Vargas said people should not leave any food out, in order to discourage the bears from approaching homes.

“That alone will help solve most of the issues,” he said.

If someone spots a bear, Vargas recommends people back away slowly and leave the animal alone, while keeping small children and pets close by. If the animal is being aggressive by showing its teeth or acting like it will charge, Vargas recommends calling ODFW or police, who will likely euthanize the animal. Vargas said bear attacks are rare in Oregon, and would likely only happen if the animal is wounded.