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Location: Mars Hill, NC, United States

A small, highly personalized real estate firm specializing in mountain homes and land in greater Asheville.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Drought, Autumn, and Black Bears in Asheville?

Middle school textbooks in North Carolina teach that our part of the state is subject to periodic drought. At these times, every 5 to 7 years, we see more numerous reports of black bear sightings by humans. What is going on when we read about things like this?

Essentially our ongoing drought, combined with a late spring frost have made this year an interesting one for sightings and occasional encounters with black bears. In short, this weather related double whammy damages oaks, berries and traditional black bear food sources. As such, the bears are forced to extend the range in which they seek sustenance.

What to Do
Yep, that means closer to us, especially here in the high rural parts of Madison County. This is just a small aspect of living here, it is periodic, but one should be equipped with some simple information about a possible experience with the creatures.

The Wildlife Conservation Society offers this little treatise on coexisting with, and encountering black bears which certainly seems timely. The Western North Carolina Nature Center also offers a resource and background on proper behavior.

Useful stuff to know beacuse the same conditions that drive the bears to seek food closer to humans, are the reasons why the fall foliage forecast is brilliant. Bottom line is to understand the bears, and to treat a sighting with the respect and the wonder that it deserves.

Added Resources
Black Bear Facts, from NC Wildlife.org

Even more black bear facts, from bear.org

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Black Bear Realty Website
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