I want to begin by thanking Los Alamos, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center, and all those who helped put together another successful Bear Week!
The “Eat like a Bear Buffet” and “Bear Festival” are not only a wonderful partnership of local, state, federal and non-profit entities, but also the only events of their kind in New Mexico!
Hosted at the Los Alamos Nature Center, Land of Enchantment Wildlife Foundation (LEWF) and the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) created a wonderful menu of bear items for people at the “Eat Like a Bear Buffet”.
With the goal of consuming the 10,000 calories that a bear would consume in a normal day while preparing for winter, many participants filled their plates (sometimes more than once) with salmon, salad, sandwiches, vegetable bugs, yule logs and chocolate acorns. There was no limit to what could be consumed.
The buffet also was the first official “Zero Waste” event in Los Alamos. Participants were provided reusable plates, utensils and cups, and the Los Alamos County Environmental Services and the Environmental Sustainability Board volunteered to help people divert their different waste streams. In the end, there was very little waste and some very happy chickens.
The “Bear Festival” brought together LEWF, PEEC, Los Alamos County Environmental Services, New Mexico Game and Fish and Bandelier National Monument for the single purpose of bear education. Kids and adults not only got to do bear themed arts and crafts, but also learned how to toss a bear bag and how important a bear resistant container is while camping.
Although Los Alamos has not had a bad year with our bears, it is important that we all learn how we can live peacefully with our state’s official mammal. Los Alamos has made great strides in becoming a bear friendly community. By partnering with Game and Fish, Los Alamos County now offers bear resistant roll carts to its citizens and bear resistant dumpster to our businesses. Our citizens also is working together to limit the waste our bears can get in to and using social media to remind people that a fed bear is a dead bear.
Thank you Los Alamos! Now off to plan the third annual Bear Week!
Tiramisu Log. Courtesy photo