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Grant hopes to help bruin-proof local communities

Posted: Tuesday, October 11, 2005

 

  David Moore & Steve Thompson of Bear Saver of California demonstrate their bear resistant container at Kenai City Hall last week.

David Moore & Steve Thompson of Bear Saver of California demonstrate their bear resistant container at Kenai City Hall last week.

While Smokey the Bear says “Only you can prevent forest fires,” local representatives of the Alaska Department of Fish & Game and the Safari Club believe only you can prevent bears. At least prevent them from using your garbage receptacles as a fast food full meal deal outlet as they down load extra calories for their winter hibernation. According to David Donald, president of the local Safari Club chapter, Kenai residents may be getting some assistance to do just that, “We are acting as the pass through organization for a U.S. Fish & Wildlife grant that we applied for with the City of Kenai and the help of ADF&G. Details are still being worked out, but we have been awarded the grant for the City of Kenai and what we want to do is put bear proof trash containers out into the subdivisions and teach people to use them to cut down on the availability of easy food sources for the bears,” explained Donald.

Donald admits that there probably is no such thing as a bear proof container, but there are some good bear resistant designs that are presently on the market. Donald says they have been gathering information on various designs and intend on going around to local neighborhoods and making bear resistant containers available to individual homeowners at reduced prices.

David Moore, chief operating officer for a California company known as Bear Saver, was in Kenai last week to demonstrate a container that he engineered a bear resistant latch for, “We had several employees that enjoy hiking in the Sierra where we live and work and they returned from their hiking trips proclaiming the need for bear resistant equipment to prevent bears from getting into the campers food and that’s what got me going on working up a design,” Moore told reporters at Kenai City Hall. The container Moore and his marketing director Steve Thompson brought to Alaska to demonstrate is a curbside collection model, “This is a tip-up cart that you could have at your home and is a residential product that is a commercially available plastic cart body that we have bear proofed so that you can keep your trash secure at home and prevent bears from night raids on your home and making a big mess, which usually ends up in the bear having to be relocated or killed,” said Moore.

Moore’s design has undergone extensive testing in Montana at a refuge for trouble bears that have been captured, “They have 7 captive grizzly bears that have been sent their because of their propensity to break into trash containers and on our last round of testing we sent four different cart configurations and three of our designs past the test,” said Moore. According to Moore in order to pass the test the container has to withstand 90 minutes of constant bear contact time. After passing the test the containers were certainly not like new, but still functional says Moore, “We feel we have the best design on the market because it is not only bear resistant but user friendly.”

The exact design of the bear resistant container that will eventually be offered to home owners in Kenai next spring has not yet been determined says David Donald, but their goal is to be able to offer a bear resistant design for approximately the same price that a regular receptacle would retail for.



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