Living with Wildlife

Save the Date - Wildlife Forum         Wildlife Forum Header

February 28, 2023, 6:00-7:30 pm, Snoqualmie Library, 7824 Center Blvd SE. Join this in-person forum to learn about local wildlife from experts in forestry, law enforcement, and Waste Management. Includes:

  • Garbage & Compost Management.
  • Hiking best practices.
  • Light refreshments will be served. Kids are welcome.
  • Recommended reading lists for adults, teens, and kids.

Follow event updates. 

Living with Wildlife and Our Responsibilities

Snoqualmie's proximity to the wilderness means you may encounter wildlife sharing trails, crossing or alongside roads, or in backyards. Some of the larger species include deer, elk, bobcats, coyotes, cougars, and black bears. Washington is also home to squirrels, raccoons, rabbits, beavers, and harmless snakes and frogs, among other animals. Awareness of animal behavior is key to reducing conflicts and living in harmony with wildlife. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife offers a wide range of information designed to minimize conflicts between humans and wildlife along with attracting beneficial wildlife and helping residents to better understand the animals in their area. In Snoqualmie, adopting safe garbage practices is essential for humans and wildlife - bears in particular. 

Bears Like Garbage

In the early spring months through late fall, black bears are on a mission to gain weight for winter. although they have natural food sources in the Cascade foothills, garbage is higher in fats and proteins and provides a quicker way for bears to fatten up. Through poor garbage management, residents are inadvertently feeding local bears and increasing the chances of bear/human contact and property damage. 

Manage Your Garbage for Prevention and Safety

The following best practices help ensure bears don't access your garbage: 

  • Keep garbage cans in a shed or garage if you have one. 
  • Place garbage containers curbside for collection the morning of trash pickup - not the night before. 
  • Keep smelly items and food scraps in your freezer until the morning of trash pickup. 
  • Double-bag materials to keep odors down. 
  • Control your cart odor by spraying it with disinfectant. 
  • Put bird feeders away during the spring/summer/fall. 
  • Learn more about living with black bears and preventing conflicts .

Bear-Resistant Containers

Waste Management offers carts designed to resist bears and other wildlife, but none are "bear-proof." All carts, even IGBC-certified ones, are only bear-resistant so practicing bear safety tips is key! Waste Management offers bear-resistant carts for both garbage and yard waste in 35, 64, and 96-gallon sizes. Because the carts require manual servicing there is an extra monthly service fee. Waste Management purchases IGBC-certified carts to fulfill our bear cart inventory need. See a video on one of the carts they provide Snoqualmie residents. 

Secure Your Garbage

Snoqualmie Police, in partnership with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, are intent on keeping our residents safe. To support best practices for garbage management, per Snoqualmie Municipal Code Chapter 8.12.080, property owners must protect garbage collection containers from wildlife, including but not limited to bears, by keeping containers closed and secure when garbage is not being deposited. It is a Class 2 civil infraction to negligently feed wildlife by allowing access to garbage containers. Please follow the code for the safety of our neighborhoods. 

Contacts and Resources

Snoqualmie Police Department: (425) 888-3333 or 9-1-1 

Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife - Living with Wildlife: (425) 775-1311

Waste Management: 1 (800) 592-9995