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Woodstock considering new anti-bear measures

Dec 20, 2023 12:34 pm

William J. Kemble reports in the Daily Freeman that the Woodstock Town Bear Task Force wants a local law with heavy fines for business owners who fail to secure trash containers. Bear task force Chair Anula Courtis said, “We want this legislation and we want it fast.... We’re requesting that the Town Board look at legislation in January.... It’s a tight timeframe but this way it doesn’t fall by the wayside and we get it before the bears wake up.” Courtis said she knows that bears don’t sleep during the entire winter but said that the animals are unlikely to leave their dens and turn over trash cans in the winter. Courtis said, “We want regulations that say ‘put a bear-resistant trash can in place and do it all the time.... There are apartments right now that have disgusting garbage all over the place and then those bears don’t know better and then the next thing they’re at your house.” They are considering fines of more than $100 for anyone leaving trash accessible to bears. Local residents can weigh in on the proposals next month. Read more about this story in the Daily Freeman.