Press Release

Bear activity in South Burlington raises concerns for developed areas

Image by Nicole from Pixabay


Press Release

MONTPELIER, Vt. – Bear activity in South Burlington has jumped this year, highlighting the need to prevent bear conflicts in densely populated areas around the state, according to the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department.

“We have had 14 bear incident reports from South Burlington so far this year, compared to just three for all of 2022,” said Black Bear Project Leader Jaclyn Comeau.  “At least two yearling bears and their mother are becoming used to easy meals of birdseed and unsecured garbage in town.  This is a dangerous situation for these bears and for people, especially in a densely populated community like South Burlington where many residents may not be used to coexisting safely with bears.”

As recently as the 1970s, black bears were uncommon outside remote parts of the Green Mountains and Northeast Kingdom.  Today the species is found statewide except in the Champlain Islands.  The population has been stable between 4,000 and 6,000 bears over most of the last decade.

Recent years have seen more bear conflicts statewide, and increasingly in densely populated communities like Rutland, Montpelier, Essex, and South Burlington.  According to Fish and Wildlife, the leading cause of bear conflicts is unsecured attractants that teach bears to associate people and easy access to food.

“Black bears in Vermont are a conservation success, and our surveys show most Vermonters want a healthy bear population in our state,” said Comeau.  “But that means that if you live in Vermont, you live in bear country and are responsible for taking proactive steps to prevent conflicts with bears.  It also means Vermonters have to grapple with tough questions like whether the Burlington suburbs are really a good place for bears.”

Fish and Wildlife urges Vermonters to take proactive steps to prevent bears learning to look for food near people, especially in densely populated areas.  Taking down birdfeeders until there is snow on the ground, securing garbage until collection day morning, protecting backyard flocks with electric fencing, and composting properly can help prevent bear conflicts from developing.

A full list of steps for coexisting with bears is available on the department’s website at:

As always, Vermonters who notice bears seeking food in their yards or in public places like campgrounds should report the incident at:

Categories: Press Release

12 replies »

  1. Further proof their are too many bears ! There have NEVER been as many bears in the State of Vermont. It’s time for a spring season, or/and lengthening the fall season to include ALL of deer season ! And to those who claim that there are too many people, and we have expanded into their territory, there is an answer to that as well, but you don’t want to hear that one ! (ssh, quite moving here!)

  2. By the way, that appears to be a brown or grizzly (Inland brown bear) in the picture. If you see one of those in Vermont, you should give up drinking !

  3. “unsecured attractants”? I wonder how many green suburban residents bought into Mitzie Johnsons “must compost” law? Who woulda thunk rotting edibles would attract bears?
    My imported neighbors see bears all the time, even on their back deck. They think letting their dozen or so bird feeders go empty in April is “doing their part”. Bears have very good noses, and empty still smells like a food source WAS there so they need to check it out.

  4. Why is anyone surprised ! After Montpelier designates the criteria for composting, I am surprised it’s not worse. If we were in a big city (like NYC) we would have rat problems. In a roual state like Vermont, Montpeculier has designed a smogisboard for Bears, Raccoons, Fishercats, Coyotes, and Foxes even in the metropolitan areas due to stupid legislation mandating composting. Bears can smell 1/2 – 3/4 miles away. I bet legislation in Montpeculier didn’t know that when they setup the citizens in Vermont. It’s not the bears fault, they are just following their instinct, looking for food.

    • As more development is done we are trying to displace bears that belive the land is their back yard . Let them roam in their backyard but do not intice them with food, we are only killing them

  5. The Bears are just doing what bears have always done. And you’re right, the legislators didn’t know what they were doing with the stupid composting mandates.
    But quoting the wisdom of Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
    I’m rooting for bears, but as I understand, stupid progressive liberal legislators are high in cholesterol. Certainly wouldn’t want the bears to sick…

  6. This generation of bears are reclaiming their indigenous, ancestorial lands. The bears are simply taking their reparations and the human occupiers must accept, coexist, or leave now. Anyone who disagrees with the bear’s right to be who they want to be or live where or how they want, is a racist, intolerant supremacist.

    • Melissa…..where are you doing your stand-up next week? My husband & I are laughing our a**es off!!! Of course, for any leftists who read your comment, they’re likely now immersed in planning “mostly peaceful” protests in the VT wilderness to rally for bear’s rights.

      • My bet is the next move will be the Fish and Game Dept will partner with Planned Parenthood to coerce chemical castration and gender reassignment surgery to young bear cubs, free of charge. The Health Dept will post flyers in the forest encouraging all bears to be up-to-date on C-19 vaccinations and Flemy the Flu Montser will dance around blackberry bushes with a needle and a sticker for all compliant, obedient bears. The psyop works on humans, may as well go after wildlife as well – that is how the pea-sized brain matter works under the current regime.

  7. Bears or any animal in fact are not stupid, they are going to eat where the food is, simple as that. Of course the idiot liberals can’t see beyond the end of their nose!

  8. Lets kill off Nature altogether and put AI in charge of policies for LIFE – you know… God’s plan?