When black bears are your neighbors

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Black bearThey’re beautiful, majestic, furry creatures, but when human-related foods become available to bears, problems may occur. In Blacksburg and Montgomery County we’re fortunate to be nestled among the mountains and their native flora and fauna, including black bears. The question is, how can we live in harmony while protecting our properties and the well-being of these animals?  

In Virginia, it is illegal to feed bears on public or private land. Unfortunately, bears can be attracted to residential property through inadvertent feeding (bird feeders, pet food, and trash cans). But with some simple steps, you can reduce the chances of bears making repeated visits to your neighborhood or property. 

  • Secure your garbage in bear resistant trash cans or store it in a secure building
  • Remove bird feeders if a bear is in the area.
  • Don’t leave pet food outdoors.
  • Make sure your neighbors are following the same recommendations.

The following website is a great resource to help you learn more about black bears and get in-depth information about how to keep from attracting bears to your neighborhood.


We live in bear country, so it is important for us to learn the facts about black bears and know what we can do to prevent conflicts. In this way we can help keep bears wild and coexist in this beautiful area for generations to come.

Bear-resistant Trash Carts

With the help of matching funding in the amount of $7,500 from the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries, the town has purchased and received 48 bear-resistant trash carts. This initial purchase of carts will allow the town to provide bear-resistant trash carts to residents in neighborhoods where the Virginia Game and Inland Fisheries department has received the most complaints. Priority will be given to residents who do not have a garage or an accessory storage building that provides protective storage for their trash carts. The bear-resistant trash carts distributed to residents will remain the property of the Town of Blacksburg and a fee of $138.43 will apply. Residents may sign up for a six month payment plan to pay this fee and there is a Fee Waiver process for low-income residents. These bear-resistant trash carts will be distributed on a first come first served basis while supplies last. Additional purchases of these bear-resistant trash carts by the town will be subject to available funding. Questions on the program may be addressed to the Public Works Department Office of Solid Waste Management at 540-443-1212.

Application for Bear Resistant Trash Carts

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