Some Black Bears Already End Winter's Nap At Tahoe

INCLINE VILLAGE (AP) - Despite a healthy snowpack that covers most of their habitat, some black bears are beginning to emerge from hibernation and draw wildlife officials' attention at Lake Tahoe.

Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist Carl Lackey says he set a trap last week for a bear that was sighted and showed little fear of humans in Incline Village on Tahoe's north shore.

Lackey says bear sightings are uncommon, but not unheard of this
early in the year.

Lackey also responded to a report of a small bear that has been living under a couple's back deck in Incline Village.

Penny and Allen Misher say the bear has come and gone from under
their deck for about six weeks and devoured three small pine trees
in their backyard.

Lackey says the bear also caused minor damage to the deck's lattice work, but that he was unable to locate it.

Madonna Dunbar of the Sierra Bear Front says Washoe County officials around Reno plan to launch a television and radio advertising campaign to educate the public about bears.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-09-08 1821EDT