News from the DNR Office of Communications

DNR Reminds Marylanders To Avoid Springtime Conflicts With Bears

Annapolis, MD (April 1, 2010) — The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) would like to remind people living in and visiting bear country that they should help keep Maryland’s black bears wild. In April, after a long winter slumber, bears leave their dens and begin looking for food. Natural foods are scarce in the early spring and bears will often take advantage of human-provided food sources if they are available. Generally, this creates problems for both bears and people.

Trash and birdfeeders are two food sources that often lure bears into residential areas. Trash should be locked in a bear proof trash container or inside a building until the day of trash pick-up so that bears cannot access it. Rinsing trash cans with ammonia after they are emptied will help to eliminate any food odors that might attract bears.

Homeowners should also remove birdfeeders from April through November to avoid attracting bears. Songbirds will not suffer as there are many food sources for birds during this time period. If you insist on feeding birds, it is recommended that you bring birdfeeders in at night when most bears are active. This will not only prevent bears from eating the birdseed, but will also prevent them from destroying the feeder.

“Keeping bears wild is a community effort that benefits both bears and people,” said Harry Spiker, DNR’s Game Mammal Section Leader.

For more information on living with black bears please call the Western Region DNR Service Center at 301-777-2136 or visit us online

   April 1, 2010

Contact: Josh Davidsburg
410-260-8002 office I 410-507-7526 cell

The Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR), which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2009, is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages more than 467,000 acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries, and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic, and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at