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Larkspur becomes first town in Douglas County to enact bear ordinance

The ordinance requires businesses and commercial properties to have bear-resistant containers.

LARKSPUR, Colo. — Businesses and commercial properties in Larkspur could face fines if they do not have bear-resistant containers after the town passed a new ordinance.

According to a news release from Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW), Larkspur is the first town in Douglas County to pass a Wildlife Dumpster Ordinance.

CPW said 214 bear interactions were reported in Douglas County between April and December.

Those reports range from sightings to bears getting into food sources, such as trash cans or bird feeders, to aggressive behaviors.

“At an October Council Meeting, videos emphasized the blatant bear activity at commercial dumpsters along the Spruce Mountain corridor,” said Larkspur Mayor Marvin Cardenas. “Following discussions with various establishments, conversations with wildlife authorities and analysis of how other Colorado communities were handling the problem, at the Dec. 5 Town Council Meeting, Larkspur passed a Wildlife Dumpster Ordinance.”

Fines that could be levied start at $100 for the first violation, $500 for a second offense and $1,000 for a third.

Credit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife
A map showing bear interaction in Larkspur

“We continue to respect nature, especially as the area growth continues to interrupt the natural lifestyle of the incredible wildlife that inhabits our area,” Cardenas said. “The intent is to protect humans from unintended confrontations with bears and at the same time protect the bears from similar confrontations, bad eating habits and their overall health and well-being.”

CPW said Larkspur joined Manitou Springs, Durango, Estes Park and Boulder in implementing trash ordinances with bears in mind. 

Georgetown in Clear Creek County is also in the process of implementing a trash ordinance, according to CPW.

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