Franklin County and the city of Carrabelle are partnering with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) to help residents secure their garbage from bears.
Securing attractants, such as garbage, is the most effective way to reduce conflicts with bears.
Human-bear conflicts in these areas have been primarily caused by bears feeding from unsecured residential garbage. The county and city received grants totaling over $4,000 from the Fish & Wildlife Foundation of Florida using proceeds from sales of the Conserve Wildlife license plate. The grant funding was part of the $825,000 in BearWise funds the FWC awarded local governments in fiscal year 2016-17.
The county and city purchased 250 sets of hardware that can be added to regular, sturdy trash cans to make them bear resistant. To determine if a trash can is able to be made bear resistant, turn the can on its side and stand on it. If the can collapses or the lid bends easily, adding hardware to the can will not keep a bear out.
Waste Pro will not charge residents an additional fee for service, but asks customers to leave cans unlatched on the morning of trash pickup. Along with the hardware, a sticker reminding residents to leave cans unlatched will be added to each trash can.
Older adults and persons with disabilities who are unable to bring their trash can to one of these events should still come and provide their information so the FWC can schedule installation on a later date. Residents that cannot come to either event can sign up to receive hardware at either Carrabelle City Hall or the Eastpoint Water and Sewer District Office.
Interested in volunteering for the event? Contact BearManagement@MyFWC.com.
For more information on how to avoid human-bear conflicts, visit MyFWC.com/Bear. Help the FWC help bears and other wildlife by purchasing the Conserve Wildlife license plate at BuyaPlate.com.