Beginning in late summer of 2020, people in eastern Montecito, from Romero down to Jameson, began reporting sightings of a bear in the area. Some neighbors had chicken coops raided. On November 4th, the Montecito Association hosted a public townhall with the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to figure out how to best handle the situation as a community. Bears are only here looking for food, and if they find it, they're likely to keep visiting.
Recommendations you can follow to minimize your attractiveness to bears:
1. Get bear proof trash cans. We're looking into the possibility of these with Marborg.
2. Strip fruit trees, particularly avocado, regularly. Do not let fruit rot on the ground. Bears don't seem to care for citrus, though.
3. Look at installing electric fences around livestock areas. This worked well for some neighbors.
4. Get an 'unwelcome' mat for bears coming too close to your house. These deliver small but unpleasant electrical charges and will ward off bears.
5. Install motion-detector floodlights and sirens - bears hate loud noise.
For more useful information, please see the Townhall videos below!
If you have bear issues, please call the California Department of Fish and Wildlife at 1 (858) 467-4201.