Bears are Here to Stay

Bears are Here to Stay

Marla Jones, Managing Editor

By Marla Jones

Managing Editor

FORT PAYNE, Ala.-- (Full Video on Southern Torch Facebook) The Fort Payne City Council held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, July 19. 

Hannah Leeper, a research assistant from Auburn University and represenetaives  of the National Park Service were at the meeting to discuss bear population in DeKalb County.

“Bears are here to stay, the population is growing” stated Lepper. “We want to make sure these bears keep their fear of humans. We want them to be afraid of us.” 

The Northeast population of bears in 2015 was 34.  Now, Libber stated she has handled or captured 73 bears that are collared and has eartags. Libber  feels there are more.  The population is healthy with the average male bear weighing 250-300 pounds, and the female around 120-150 pounds. 

Bears are usually shy and are scared of humans but if they find a food source, they will continue to come to the area. 

Leeper encouraged residents of the area to place trash cans in the a locked space until the day of pickup.  She also suggested bringing bird feeders in at night and only leaving small amounts of pet food outside to keep the bears away. 

 “We dont want to feed them” continued Libber. “ Any kind of food reward will keep these bears coming back for more. The best thing we can do is be proactive than reactive.”

In other business, the Council, approved Alcohol Applications for the following:

• Tienda Los Primos – Off-Premise Beer

• The Stockade – Restaurant Retail Liquor

The Council approved the following Activity Permits:

• Alabama Lebanon Rival Center, LeeAnn Pendergrass, Outreach Service, Rotary Pavilion, Saturday, October 22nd, 11:00 a.m. until 3:00 pm.

• VFW, Fundraiser Run for Patriot’s Memorial Park, Saturday, November 5th, from 8:00 a.m. until 10:00 a.m.

The Council discussed the Planning Commission’s decision to decline a re-zoning request from Marlin Blalock (Property Owner) and Dollar General (Leaseholder). There was no action taken by the Council. 

The Council set a Work Session for Thursday, July 21 at 9:00 to discuss the  FY2023 Budget.

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