Bear-proof bin code could include Carson Valley |

Bear-proof bin code could include Carson Valley

by Susie Vasquez

A code requiring bear-proof collection bins in Lake Tahoe could be expanded to include all of Douglas County.

The issue will be addressed at Thursday’s meeting of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

In the past year, there have been 32 human-caused bear mortalities in a population that hovers between 200 and 300 locally, said Carl Lackey, wildlife biologist with the Nevada Department of Agriculture.

“Bears are tolerant and they adapt well to humans, especially if we provide them with food,” Lackey said. “The urban interface is extending out into bear habitat at an incredible rate and as that happens, chances of a dangerous conflict will increase.”

Known as black bears, their historic range extended throughout Nevada, but it’s now been reduced to the Pine Nut Mountains, remote areas of the Carson Range and the Wassuks Range near Hawthorne.

The future is bleak for these animals due primarily to development, Lackey said.

If garbage and other factors were properly secured or removed from the Tahoe Basin and east side of Carson Valley, the bears would return to the wild. There would still be a few sightings and nuisance problems would be all but eliminated, Lackey said in a previous interview.

“There’s nothing wrong with living out there, but people shouldn’t leave trash exposed, plant fruit trees or have koi ponds,” he said.

In other business:

• County officials could oppose the proposed expenditure of $40 million of Bureau of Land Management funding for projects primarily in Washoe County. County officials claim the money, acquired through the sale of Bureau land in north Douglas County, was to be set aside for conservation easements in Douglas County.

• Commissioners could approve a zoning change on almost 2,200 acres east of Minden-Tahoe Airport, from forest and range with a 19-acre parcel size to agricultural.

The change will significantly increase the number of transfer development rights available to owners James Usher and the Bently Family trust.

• Commissioners could approve a zoning change to rebuild the historic Valley Bar for owners Julian Larrouy and Sybil Dunagan, on .44 acres of a 1.79-acre parcel at the corner of State Route 88 and Centerville Lane.

• Commissioners could approve revisions to Douglas County’s master plan, part of the 10-year review and update.

Susie Vasquez can be reached at or 782-5121, ext. 211.

What: Douglas County Board of Commissioners meeting

When: 10 a.m. Thursday

Where: Courtroom of the Douglas County Administration Building, 1616 Eighth St. in Minden