Consistent with sections 1801, 4181 and 4181.1 of the Fish and Game Code, the purpose of this black bear policy is to minimize bear/human conflicts and damage to private property while not significantly affecting California's bear population. This policy addresses situations where bears have entered residential areas and CDFW must respond.
The Department considers improper storage of human food and garbage to be the primary cause of bear conflicts with humans. The reduction or elimination of bear attractants is emphasized throughout this policy and in the "Keep Me Wild" Program so that bears do not become habituated to human food and become problem bears in the future. This policy is intended to reduce the number of bear/human conflicts to the benefit of individual bears and people living near, or recreating in, bear habitat.
Bears that are threats to public safety, as determined by a public safety officer or Department employee, may be killed at any time without a permit. The specific procedures for handling public safety bears are detailed in CDFW's Public Safety Wildlife Policy. "Region" refers to one of seven Department regions and "District" refers to one of four Department Law Enforcement Division (LED) districts.
The policy is organized into five elements described in detail below: