For many Asheville residents, seeing a bear at their trash can is a bucket-list item, the pinnacle of mountain living. But as exciting as a bear sighting can be, interactions with the furry, four-legged natives can quickly spell problems for bears and humans alike.
On Nov. 10, Asheville City Council authorized the city’s sanitation division to purchase 340 bear-resistant trash carts for customers to rent on a first-come, first-served basis.
“Come on, all you North Ashevilleans — keep your unadorned trash bins. Put them out within an hour or two of the expected pickup times and spray them inside and out with ammonia.”
“I know many of my neighbors have called to share similar concerns. It doesn’t appear any of us are being heard.”
Justin McVey, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s wildlife biologist for the region that includes Asheville, says the commission has not received an unusual number of reports of three-legged bears in recent days despite social media posts suggesting sightings of at least nine separate bears with missing or injured legs within a 25-mile radius of Asheville.
Opportunities to celebrate local Special Olympians and veterans of past wars are coming up this spring. And with the arrival of warmer weather, the city of Asheville provides tips on securing garbage to promote peaceful coexistence with Western North Carolina’s burgeoning bear population.
The most important thing is not to panic. Remember that most humans are just as scared of you as you are of them. Ninety percent of the time, they’ll run away. Try to resist the urge to chase them.
Western North Carolina’s wild places and creatures lie at the heart of the region’s appeal, inspiring local artists and attracting visitors from across the globe. Events in 2018 promised to shape the future of those natural resources for years to come.
Readers, you had a lot to say about local politics and civic goings-on in the region this year. From tourism and development to bears and the county government scandal, here’s a look back at some of the hot topics that sparked your opinions.
“But let’s get some perspective here. The rate of murders in the Asheville area is approximately 10 per 100,000 people; the rate of rapes, 48 per 100,000; the rate of assault, 335 per 100,000.”
“At the very least, City Council or the Wildlife Commission could stage a ‘bear summit’ to document the number and character of close calls.”
“Bears are not the enemy! We’re the ones who have to decide if we’re going to be the enemy. Coexistence is possible: We can do it, but it’s a practice.”
“We can protect wildlife by rinsing jars and replacing the lids, folding back the tab on beverage cans to block the hole, crushing cans before recycling them and cutting apart every section of six-pack rings.”
“They need to be thinned out by removal, sterilization, extended hunting season or whatever is appropriate in order for the bear population to remain healthy and the human population to remain safe.”