American Black Bears are common in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Unfortunately, human activity has allowed bears to become habituated to human food and garbage. Bears that become human habituated or food conditioned in general, are euthanized, not relocated. Please heed the warning: “A Fed Bear is a Dead Bear.” Black Bears will seek to avoid confrontation with humans. If encountered, always leave them an escape route. However, bears that are accustomed to getting food from human sources, such as unlocked dumpsters, can become too bold and lose their fear of humans.To avoid this behavior, do not let bears get used to eating garbage. Below are resources and tips on how to be bear aware. 

Here are a few tips on how to "Stash Your Trash":

  • Place trash at the curb after 5 AM on the morning of your trash day only.
  • If you are leaving town before trash day your weekly allotment of trash may be dropped off at the Waste Management transfer station 7 days a week.  Call (775) 833-6251 for hours.
  • Keep commercial dumpsters closed at all times.
  • Keep garage and home doors closed, except for immediate use.
  • Purchase and correctly use a bear resistant garbage container. 
  • Harvest fruit off trees as soon as it is ripe, and promptly collect fruit that falls.
  • Keep barbecue grills clean.
  • Securely block access to sites such as crawl spaces under decks and buildings to reduce the potential of hibernation under structures.
  • Keep doors and windows secure from intrusions. Scents can lure bears inside.
  • When unoccupied, empty homes of all food and scented products.
  • Do not allow wildlife and other pests to attack trash or waste.
  • Spray your cans with ammonia or Pine Sol.
  • NEVER feed wildlife.
  • Keep your pet food inside.

All owners are responsible for properly managing waste on their property. Owners who do not properly contain waste or place trash out at the curb prior to trash day are subject of fines up to $1,000 per incident and staff fees.

  • In an emergency, call 911. DO NOT call 911 to report bear sightings. 
  • For more information on wildlife resistant trash containment IVGID Waste Not Conservation Programs: (775) 832-1284; email: wastenot@ivgid.org
  • For general BEAR AWARE information contact the BEAR League at (530) 525-PAWS.
  • To report a trash problem (out on wrong day / trash spill / open dumpster): call IVGID’s Trash Complaint Hotline at (775) 832-1221

Trash Violations September 2013 to September 2014 (PDF)

More bear education websites: TahoeWildBears.orgBearSmart.comSaveBears.org

LOCAL BEAR SIGHTINGS