State sets new rules about feeding bears Published: Monday, January 24, 2011

ALBANY — The state Department of Environmental Conservation has issued a new regulation that prohibits the feeding of black bears by people. The regulation stems from the increasing number of conflicted between the big, furry animals and humans.

Previously, the agency prohibited the intentional feeding of bears in proximity to certain locations. The new rule now prohibits the intentional or incidental feeding of bears. That means it is now against the law to leave out garbage, refuse or bird seed that might attract the animals. The regulation gives the agency the authority to require removal of those and other food attractions when bears become problematic.

The agency encourages discontinuing bird feeding activity in the spring when bears emerge from their dens and natural food for bears is not abundant and natural food for birds is becoming more available.

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