Warmer weather means a lot of good things, pool time, picnics, walks, and other outdoor activities. It also means that black bears throughout New York State are on the move and there are some things you can do to help avoid a confrontation with a black bear in your yard.

According to the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the simplest way to avoid a nuisance encounter is to remove all potential attractants, which in most cases is garbage, bird feeders, pet food, and grills.

Here are a few ideas you can do to help avoid bear conflicts. Keep your garbage cans and grills in a secure building or location, if you need to keep your garbage cans outside, secure the lids with chains and locks and/or protect them with electric fencing. It's best not to leave garbage containers outside over-night, instead put them out immediately prior to pick-up. Remove bird feeders and suet from around your home and feed your pets indoors and store pet food indoors as well.

If you, or your neighbor, are having problems with nuisance bears, or suspect someone is feeding bears, please report immediately to the DEC dispatch at 518- 897-1326. In most cases, if reported quickly enough, nuisance bear issues can often be resolved by working with community members to increase public awareness and remove attractants.

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