Living with Bears

Bear activity in Lyons continues to rise annually. As bears discover garbage as an easy food source, their innate fear of people declines and aggression levels rise, which can turn dangerous quickly. As bears become a nuisance in communities, Colorado Parks and Wildlife's (CPW) first step may be to translocate the bears back to their natural habitat. However, once they've discovered the easily accessible food sources, such as garbage and bird feeders, it’s difficult to retrain them back to their natural instincts and the smart creatures often find their way back to human civilization. Unfortunately, this most frequently results in the euthanization of the animals, as human-bear conflicts rise, posing a serious threat to people and property.

Securing Your Garbage

The Lyons Municipal Code considers any container that can be accessed by an animal a nuisance:

LMC Section 7-3-10: Any garbage which is stored otherwise than in watertight and airtight cans or containers which creates odor or stench, which is accessible to animals or which otherwise creates a health hazard, is declared a nuisance.
Bear-Resistant Bins
To prevent bears from accessing garbage, the Town recommends bear-resistant containers, for both residential and commercial purposes. To obtain bear-resistant garbage bins, contact your waste service provider, or visit a hardware retail store for purchase. 

Secure Storage
Another method of keeping bears out of garbage is by properly securing trash in a secure, locked area overnight, such as a garage or window-less shed. This means curbside pickup containers must be placed outside the morning of and brought back in by dusk. Properly secured storage allows for non-bear-resistant containers.


Failure to comply with the Town ordinance may result in the following penalties:
1st Violation Warning
2nd Violation OPTION 1: $150 fine
OPTION 2: Obtain a bear-resistant bin within one week of issuance
3rd Violation $500 fine


For more information on bear safety, visit the Be Bear Aware page, or contact Code Compliance Officer, Dale Van Wagner at 303-823-6622. ext. 47.