After Community Members Pleas, Granby to Draft Bear Feeding Ordinance

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Now after years of complaints about bears, the town of Granby is taking action to potentially tackle what might be behind part of the problem.

Amid growing concerns about bears in Granby, Valerie Eastwood says her dog named Murphy was attacked by a bear in her fenced-in backyard in April.

“It was very traumatic,” said Eastwood. “He didn’t have much of a chance but he ended up making it.”

She was one of a group of people who showed up to a Board of Selectmen meeting on Tuesday.

They’re pushing for a ban on people feeding bears which many believe is leading to some of the problems seen in town.

“It’s really time to act,” said Thomas Bunz.

We first met Thomas and Meg Bunz at their home a couple of weeks ago where they told us many bears pass through their property on their way to being fed in the area.

“The kids are scared and the kids have really gone from enjoying their town and the beauty and the bounty it offers to feeling sort of trapped in their home,” said Meg Bunz.

Besides frightening families, there’s a danger to drivers, with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection reporting cars striking several bears in the area in recent years.

On Tuesday, community members expressed their frustration that the town was not moving fast enough despite long-running concerns.

“I think it’s really important that the town to come together to work with each other and find a solution,” said Thomas Bunz.

While selectmen defended their process so far, they agreed to at least draft a new ordinance to address the feeding.

It was a big moment for Elizabeth Hardersen who has been fighting this issue for a while and was feeling positive after the board’s action.

“They were extremely let’s get this done, how do we do it, what do we do next, let’s get it done. And that’s what we wanted to hear, that’s all we wanted. I wish we heard it two years ago but tonight I’m, yeah, feels good,” said Hardersen.

Hardersen started an online petition to stop the feeding and it now has more than 800 supporters.

While the action by the board starts what could be a long process, Granby could eventually join five other communities is the state which have already banned feeding.

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