The Colorado Wildlife Commission will consider a regulation Thursday that would fine people $68 if they continuously refuse to clean up trash, bird-feeding stations or other food sources that attract bears.
"This differs from one passed a few years ago that was aimed at people who purposely baited bears in order to photograph them or for whatever other reasons they had," Colorado Division of Wildlife spokesman Todd Malmsbury said.
"The regulation we are recommending to the commission is aimed at people who inadvertently attract bears by leaving out barbecue grills, large bird feeders, pet foods or trash, and are continuously reminded not to do it."
There has been a dramatic escalation of bears entering towns along the Front Range in search of food, and experts say once a female teaches her cubs to eat garbage, the only way to break the habit is to remove the sources.
"The number of human-bear conflicts rose from 503 in 1999 to 1,127 last year," Malmsbury said.
The proposed regulation would require such methods as securing trash in bear-proof containers or using locked dumpsters.