Bear Safety

Learn how to be bear aware and safe in our area that now has black bears during a community meeting hosted by the Innsbrook Nature Group this Saturday morning, July 28, from 10:30 a.m. – 12 Noon at the Charrette Creek Commons Meeting Room.

Photo of American Black Bear Courtesy MDC

We will spend the first half of our meeting learning about and preparing to live around visiting black bears that have been recently seen in Warren County near Innsbrook. There’s less need to be alarmed or fearful once you learn how to be safe around American Black Bears which inhabit many states and numerous other resort and vacation properties across the USA.

Do you know where Missouri bears originally came from, how big are they, what they eat, where they make their dens, do they really hibernate, what to do and not do if you encounter one, and what practical changes communities often make to avoid incidents?

We’ll answer these questions and more in a presentation using what we have learned from the wildlife experts at the Missouri Dept. of Conservation in a recent Bear Necessities educational class. We will also have a limited number of “Black Bears in Missouri” wildlife guides, published by the MDC, to distribute.

Learn more about our July 28 program at  https://ibknature.com/events/summer-meeting-july-28-2018/ or emailing info@ibknature.com or calling Rich and Kath at 636-745-0121.

 

Innsbrook Nature Meeting July 28

A Program on the Bear Necessities of Living Close to Black Bears, Living in Harmony with Nature at Innsbrook, and Preserving the Water Quality of Innsbrook Streams

The Innsbrook Nature Group invites all property owners, families,  and guests to join us on Saturday morning, July 28 from 10:30 a.m. – 12 Noon at the Charrette Creek Commons Meeting Room.

A Black Bear specimen that we learned from during our MDC Bear Necessities training

We will spend the first part of our community meeting learning about and preparing to live with black bears that have been seen near Innsbrook in Warren County as shared in our recent Nature News post.  Do you know where Missouri bears originally came from, what they eat, where they make their dens, what to do and not do if you encounter one, and what changes communities often make to avoid incidents? We’ll answer these questions and more using what we have learned from the wildlife experts at the Missouri Dept. of Conservation in a recent Bear Necessities educational class.

Next we will follow-up the timely topic of our Summer 2018 Newsletter to discuss what does “living in harmony with nature” (LHN) mean to our community. Should the vision of LHN be important to Innsbrook as we continue to grow and expand? How well are we doing and are there justifiable reasons to be worried that we are losing the LHN ethos? We will ask all to share their experience with LHN including tips, challenges, concerns, and suggestions. We hope to create a set of questions, comments, and recommended LHN guidelines for further discussion and action within the community.

Charrette Creek as it flows through Innsbrook is important to our wildlife and lake water quality

At the close of the meeting we will take a short optional hike over to the Charrette Creek monitoring site for our new Missouri Stream Team. Here we will demonstrate the many elements that make up a healthy stream and the lakes that it feeds. This includes the watershed land use, riparian cover, stream bank habitats, composition of the stream bed bottom, water quality and presence of macro-invertebrates. Read more about our new stream team in the Spring Newsletter.

We hope to see anyone and everyone attend who care about preserving the great many natural assets that the founders of Innsbrook provided for us to enjoy. If you can’t make our meeting, but have questions, comments or suggestions to enter into the discussion, please leave them below in our comment field or email them to info@ibknature.com. You can leave your name or be anonymous as you prefer.

For additional information visit www.ibknature.com for more info or call 636.745.0121. To share this with neighbors and friends send them this link https://ibknature.com/2018/07/17/innsbrook-nature-meeting-july-28/,

Prepare to be Bear Aware

Little did we know the day immediately after releasing our Summer Newsletter, where we referenced our concern about open trash dumpsters in a state with bears, that we would have a bear sighting close-by in Warren County. As many of you may have heard, last week a black bear was reported off of Highway F in Wright City just north of Innsbrook. Read more in this Warren County Record newspaper story or local TV report and video .

American Black Bear photo courtesy MDC

This is not the first report of bears seen in Warren County in recent years. One was spotted near Marthasville in southern Warren County in 2016. We promptly gave him the name of Wandering Warren. You can view an interactive map of bear sightings within in Missouri at this MDC Bear Map.

Black Bears are native to Missouri but were hunted to near-extinction in the state during the late 1800’s. As a protected species they are now making a resurgence in Missouri with an estimated 300-400 in the state, mostly in the Ozarks near the Arkansas border. Bears have a role in a healthy ecosystem and most conservationists agree it is a good thing to have them. As example, they do eat small rodents which can spread tick diseases.

Having bears sharing Nature with humans is little to fear if you are prepared to be bear aware. Bears exist in the wild in many states though out the U.S. where humans have learned to safely live with them. Bear attacks are rare, but can happen, especially if they are threatened or humans are careless with food and trash. However, living with bears does require education, preparation, and some community changes to avoid incidents that can threaten property or lives.

To help our community prepare I will be attending an MDC program on “Bear Necessities for Being Bear Aware” at the Busch Conservation Center in St. Charles County next Tuesday. We have also asked the MDC to provide us with a speaker, or reference materials if they cannot attend, for our Innsbrook Nature meeting on Saturday morning, July 28 that all property owners are welcomed to attend. DYK what bear tracks or scat looks like? We’ll show you.

Until then you can learn to be prepared by visiting this must-read material at MDC Bear Aware and at MDC Hiking in Bear Country.  In these references you will learn that if you encounter a bear while hiking, the most important thing to remember is don’t turn your back and don’t run. Here are more tips directly from the MDC:

  • Never corner a bear – make sure it has an escape route.
  • Back away slowly with your arms raised.
  • Speak in a calm, loud voice.
  • Do not turn your back to the bear.
  • Walk away slowly – DO NOT RUN.

Another good tip is don’t leave any trash or food outside on your property including spilt bird seed or pet feeding dishes.

I imagine that all the fireworks this holiday week will scare off any bear as well as other critters, but it could also make our wildlife neighbors more stressed, unpredictable, and thus dangerous. Should you spot a bear within Innsbrook it is recommended that you call the St. Louis regional office of the MDC at 636-441-4554 and/or Innsbrook Security at 636-745-3000 x9400, then send us a note to info@ibknature.com.

Follow the Innsbrook Nature Group by visiting our website at www.ibknature.com and registering to receive our newsletter in the field at the top right of any page.

Rich & Kath