Jump to navigation
View the 5-minute video "You're in Bear Country," courtesy of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Materials for homeowners' assocations, service and professional organizations, businesses and more
Through a partnership with the League of Women Voters and Community Recycling Committee, the Town of Estes Park has installed bear-resistant recycling and trash containers downtown. Funded by the Town and a grant received by the Community Recycling Committee, 23 of the 24 containers purchased have already been installed by Public Works staff. They replace existing trash cans in the vicinity of Performance Park, Tregent Park, Riverside Park, Riverside Plaza, Riverside parking lot, Town Hall and the Town Hall parking lot.
The installation of these containers is part of an effort to increase recycling rates, as well as to make Estes Park a safe place for wildlife and people. Businesses and residents across the Estes Valley are encouraged to begin thinking about how they can reduce the chance of attracting and creating potential conflicts with bears, which often come out of dormancy in April.
The elk calving season takes place in April and May of each year. During this time, female elk, or cows, become irritable and highly protective of their young calves. Though they may look harmless, like the bull elk during the rut, cows are extremely dangerous during calving season.
Marked calving areas should be avoided. Caution should be exercised at all times during calving season. “Every day our dispatch center receives numerous calls for police officers to respond to elk issues around Town, and the vast majority of issues are caused by people,” commented Estes Park Police Chief Wes Kufeld. He explained that the most common reports to dispatch are people getting too close to the elk and “elk jams,” caused when drivers park their vehicles in the way of traffic in order to watch the elk. Kufeld continued, “Safety should be first on the minds of elk-viewers, so they can have a great experience.”
The Police Department provides the following tips to visitors for safe elk viewing:
• Elk are wild animals which must be observed from a safe distance to avoid injury or death. If an animal is carefully watching you and appears “jumpy” when you move, you are too close.
• Keep pets secured on a leash and do not allow them to bark at, lunge at, or chase wildlife.
• Never block traffic. Move your vehicle to a safe place completely off the roadway to watch elk.
• Do not imitate an elk call, or bugle, when elk are irritable during the rut. This can endanger you and the elk.
• Elk know no boundaries, but people do. Respect private property when viewing wildlife.
The Estes Park Police Department does enforce wildlife laws including laws against feeding or harassing wildlife, or allowing one’s pet to harass wildlife.