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Wildlife Springs to Life on JBER

By Staff Sgt. Westin Warburton | JBER Public Affairs | April 20, 2017

JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska --

Spring is here and so is the wildlife. It’s time to be bear aware, and mindful of moose.

Bear sightings have already been reported on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson. This means it’s time to clean up yards and bring in the trash.

“Our biggest problem is garbage,” said Mark Sledge, 673d Civil Engineering Squadron senior conservation law enforcement officer. “We’ve seen trash in truck beds, dumpsters that aren’t being closed all the way, and there have been a few incidents of people dumping grease over the back of their fences.”

By keeping trash bins in garages until pickup day, and doing the obvious clean up, neighborhoods will be safer as bears will have no reason to intrude.

“If you see a bear in your trash or in a neighbor’s, call security forces,” added Sledge. “They will notify us immediately, day or night, and we will come out and take care of the situation with hazing.”

Along with trash, bird feeders are an issue. Bears are attracted to suet and oily sunflower seeds often found in Alaskan bird feed. Feeders need to be brought inside from April to October.

While bears are a big concern, the JBER community also needs to be mindful of the moose calving season that will start within the next few weeks.

“We consider calving season to be the most hazardous time,” said Jim Wendland, 673d CES chief conservation law enforcement officer. “In years past, we have had kids get hit by moose protecting their young. It’s the worst time to have your kids cut through the woods to get to school or any other place they might be going.”

The first month after birth is when the cow is most protective. You just have to be mindful and learn to live with them, added Sledge.

In addition to bears and moose, wolves and coyotes have been known to live on base. Leaving pets in back yards unattended may result in an attack or even worse.

“It’s up to you to protect your pets,” said Sledge. “Taking the necessary precautions will help keep your family and neighborhood safe from the Alaska wildlife.”

For more in depth information about living with wildlife, visit the Alaska Department of Fish and Game website at www.adfg.alaska.gov.

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