Gearhart’s elk may not go hungry, but they’ll find a little less of a welcome in Gearhart after the City Council passed a first reading of a “no feeding” ordinance on Feb. 6.
“The attracting or feeding of wildlife within the city limits is declared to be a public nuisance and safety issue and is prohibited,” reads the ordinance.
Along with elk, residents and visitors may not feed bear, cougar, coyote or wolves, among other nondomesticated animals.
The prohibition includes any manner in which a person “places or knowingly allows food or other attractants to be placed on their property” with the intention of attracting or feeding wildlife.
Feeding of songbirds and squirrels is permitted, provided the food is contained in a feeder.
The ordinance came up last summer after a resident sought ways to mitigate hazards from elk and human interactions.
Violation of the ordinance would bring a penalty of up to $500, but officials hope they’ll find compliance before issuing fines.
The council will read the ordinance during the March meeting, at which time it will become law.
The city recently met with Oregon Solutions, a statewide organization designed to bring bring business, government, and nonprofits to the table to agree on what role each can play to address a community need seeking a regional approach to ongoing elk concerns.
“We had a great first meeting with them getting different stakeholders together, article was in the Astorian. Oregon Solutions is in the ‘assessment,’ process,” Mayor Matt Brown said. Friday. “So they are interviewing stakeholders and gathering feedback.”
The organization met with local officials, law enforcement, state fish and wildlife employees and other stakeholders to discuss the growing number of elk in and around the two cities.
The organization could ask Gov. Kate Brown’s office to officially designate the work an Oregon Solutions project, opening up potential state funds.