Town, county consider moves on bear-resistant trash cans
By Billy Arnold and Timothy J. Woods, Jackson Hole Daily Contributors -
In the wake of Grizzly 399 and her four cubs’ October visits to southern populated stretches of Teton County — and the deaths of other bears that got into garbage — the town and country are both discussing ways to keep bears and people safe in the valley.
For weeks, there has been a growing push among the public to require bear-proof trash cans countywide. By Thursday morning, a Change.org petition encouraging elected officials to do so had gathered over 50,000 signatures. Just over 23,000 people live in Jackson Hole.
Town and county elected officials have been flooded with public comment about the issue. Teton County Board of County Commissioners Chairwoman Natalia D. Macker told the rest of the board Tuesday that the bulk of the 226 emails sent to the board over the past two weeks were “related to bear-proof canisters.”
The town and county both discussed bear safety earlier this week. The Jackson Town Council voted to further consider the issue, and commissioners opted to defer to planners’ ongoing work on bear-proofing.
“Grizzly 399 and her four cubs spent a happy day in my neighborhood a week ago Saturday,” Town Councilor Jonathan Schechter said at Monday night’s council meeting. “As a result I’ve had a lot of conversations with neighbors and other interested people about bear-proofing and trying to make the town more resilient and, in so doing, cut down on the possibility of bear-human encounters.”