Mt. Crested Butte is a pristine mountain community that is surrounded by a wilderness that is home to abundant wildlife which affords residents and visitors alike numerous opportunities to explore nature and observe wildlife in their natural habitat.
We ask that you never feed wildlife (it is illegal), never approach wildlife, pack out what you pack in, and leave wildflowers in the ground where they can live and grow for future generations to enjoy! As a reminder, wildlife may attack if provoked or if they feel threatened.
Prominent neighbors in our mountain country are bears and mountain lions. The following is intended to provide a few simple tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe in bear and mountain lion territory. This information is obtained from the Colorado Parks and Wildlife. For more information, visit their website or call the Gunnison Office at 970-641-7060.
- Living in bear country
- Keep trash in bear-proof containers or secure buildings
- Don't leave pet food outside
- Remove bird feeders at night
- Clean BBQ grills after each use
- Do not put fruit or vegetables in compost piles
- NEVER feed a bear or any other wildlife (it is illegal and teaches wildlife bad habits and untimid behavior around humans. Sadly, this often ends with the animal having to be killed)
- Keep lower-level windows and doors closed
- Keep your camp area clean and store food and toiletries securely and away from your camp
If you encounter a bear
- If the bear enters your home, open all doors and windows and remove yourself from between the bear and any escape route
- Stay calm - if the bear hasn't seen you, calmly leave the area. As you leave, talk aloud to allow the bear to discover your presence
- Stop - back away slowly while facing the bear but avoid direct eye contact
- If you are on a trail, step off the trail on the downhill side and slowly leave the area. DO NOT RUN or make any sudden movements
- Speak softly - this can reassure the bear that you mean no harm
- If attacked, fight back - in black bear attacks, bears have been driven away when people fight back with rocks, sticks, or anything you can hold
Report bear sightings to the Police Department or the Division of Wildlife. If the bear is an immediate threat, call 911.
- Living in mountain lion territory
Mountain lions are very elusive animals and sightings are very rare, however, they do occasionally happen in this area. If you are hiking, make plenty of noise to reduce the risk of surprising a lion and NEVER approach a lion.
You can eliminate the chances of a lion encounter around your home by following some simple guidelines:
- Make noise when you come and go
- Install outside lighting
- Closely supervise children as they play outdoors
- Landscape and remove all tall vegetation to eliminate hiding places
- Do not encourage prey to graze in your area. Predators may follow
If you encounter a mountain lion:
- Stay calm - Move slowly and speak calmly yet firmly.
- Stop or back away slowly and DO NOT RUN - Running may stimulate the lion's chase instinct. Face the lion and stand upright.
- Try to appear larger by raising your arms or opening your jacket. If you have children, protect them by picking them up so they won't run.
- Throw things if the lion acts aggressively. Throw stones, branches, anything you can pick up without crouching or bending down.
- Convince the lion that you are not prey and fight back if a lion attacks. Lions have been known to be driven away when people fight back with rocks, sticks, or anything you can hold. Remain standing, or if you are knocked down make every attempt to get back up.
Report mountain lion sightings to the Police Department or the Colorado Division of Wildlife. If the mountain lion poses an immediate threat, call 911.
- Wildlife-Resistant Waste Container Requirement
In 2007 Town Council amended Chapter 15 of the Town Code by passing Ordinance No. 6, Series 2007 which addresses requirements and allows for violation penalties pertaining to wildlife-resistant trash containers, feeding of wildlife, and bird feeders. Please refer to the Town Code to review the complete ordinance.
The following are important highlights of the ordinance related to trash containers:
- All waste containers, which receive edible waste shall be wildlife resistant. The container must be fully enclosed and the lid or door must have a latching mechanism that prevents access by wildlife. If the container is not wildlife resistant, it must be stored within a building, house, garage, or approved wildlife resistant dumpster.
- Residential waste containers shall be placed curbside no earlier than 5:30 a.m. on the day of pick up. After pick up, any non-wildlife resistant container must be resecured inside the building, house, garage, or approved wildlife resistant dumpster enclosure by 6:00 p.m. of the day of pick up.
- Mt. Crested Butte curbside recycling