Douglas County Makes Move to Curtail Hungry Bears

In this photo provided by Truckee Animal Control, a bear is seen walking away after he was rescued from a ledge on Rainbow Bridge on Highway 40 west near Donner Summit on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2007, near Truckee, Calif. Volunteers rescued the 250-pound bear after it was stuck for almost 24 hours. The bruin was walking across the bridge when at least two vehicles drove by at the same time, according to rescuers. The bear apparently panicked and tried to jump over the bridge railing to avoid the cars. Volunteers strung a nylon net from an Army surplus store beneath the 80-year-old bridge, and an animal control officer shot the bear with a tranquilizer dart. After the animal lost consciousness, volunteers used a pole to push it into the net, then lowered the bear onto the floor of the granite-strewn ravine as more than 100 spectators cheered. (AP Photo/Truckee Animal Control, Robert Brooks)

MINDEN, Nev. (AP) - Douglas County has begun an effort to discourage garbage-raiding bears after a hearing that produced some finger-pointing.

Commissioners unanimously approved the first reading of an ordinance which would require tamper-proof trash containers at homes already hit twice by nuisance animals.

Officials stress that the ordinance would apply only to residences with a history of bear problems. They say a similar law has been in effect in the Tahoe Basin for several years and, to date, no one has been required to purchase the trash container, which costs 200 to 700 dollars.

Rancher Frank Godecke says he thinks the state Department of Wildlife has done a poor job of managing the bears. He says bears have been reproducing unabated over the years and now have outgrown the habitat that previously supported them.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)