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Ron and Marcia Henry point to where four bears visited their home an hour earlier on May 23, 2014. Ron Henry took photos and video fo the visit. There was no human or animal food in the area. But they do live in an area where a neighbor allegedly feeds bears,habituating them to lose their fear of humans. Send YOUR sightings to Sightings@MountainEnterprise.com with a story and photo attached, plus your phone number (for the editor, not for publication).
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Charles 'Chuck' Noble of Lebec toured the upper regions of Tejon Ranch Conservancy lands last week. He was astonished at the number of California condor he saw flying overhead.He made this composite of his photos to show what it was like. Read the story, "A little condor history," to understand more about why they were there.
Four bears playing on the deck of a private home in Pine Mountain, California on May 23, 2014 just a day and a half after a "Keep Me Wild" Town Hall at the Frazier Park Library to help homeowners cope with living in bear habitat.. [Video by Ron Henry] The next Town Hall on th subject is at Pine Mountain Club June 13, open to all, at 7 p.m., in the Pool Pavilion. Children enocuraged to come. Questions and Answers invited.
The Four Bears— “Knock, knock.” “Who’s there?” “Just the four little bears… Your neighbors next door….”
Ron and Marcia Henry on Chestnut Court (off Woodland and upper Linden in Pine Mountain) thought a herd of elephants was trying to get in when three bears clambered up their front steps Friday, May 23. [Right, the couple shows where the bears came to the door.] A fourth bear lingered at the bottom, before scampering with agility up a 15- foot post to break off an outdoor electric light.
[See video of part of the visit, at right.]
The couple said the bears were looking for easy food, but there was no pet food or water and nothing being cooked in the house. The bears were not impressed by a sheriff’s deputy’s siren. They just slowly ambled back into the woods after stopping at a neighboring house.
The couple said they would be at the June 13 Town Hall for tips about living next to wild neighbors.
Don’t miss the last ‘Keep Me Wild’ Town Hall, Friday, June 13 Pine Mountain Club at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome and urged to come. Children are invited.
Chuck Noble of Lebec went on a Jeep tour of the Tejon Ranch Conservancy areas on Friday, May 23. He sent a composite photo of what he saw: “Condors were everywhere we looked, circling around us. We saw 12 or 13 California condors all in one area, and lots of deer,” he said.
A little California condor history: Noble was at a high elevation, in an area designated by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as “critical habitat” for the highly endangered California condor.
Most of these condors are fairly young birds, released not long ago to the Bitter Creek Wildlife Refuge northwest of Pine Mountain, out on Highway 33 (Porter Ranch Road). Scientists are amazed that these soaring birds, most born in captivity in zoos, would have already found this area of Tejon Ranch on their own. A U.S. Geologic Survey (USGS) telemetry study about four years ago showed they had.
Condors, which can live to 75 years old, begin to forage up to about 150 miles away from their home base. People in the Mountain Communities see condors soaring overhead to the cliffs of Tejon Ranch high country.
From there these spectacular birds with 8.5- to 9-foot wingspans can launch onto high thermal updrafts that carry them soaring over the rim of the San Joaquin Valley and up into the Sierra Nevada mountains where they glide, watching for large animal carrion, such as elk and deer.
Some of the condor critical habitat area of Tejon Ranch is overlapped by the development footprint planned for 3,450 million- dollar homes in Tejon Mountain Village (TMV), which has not yet started building. Ten years ago, there was heated public debate about TMV’s plan to encroach on critical condor habitat.
These objections led to the “Ranchwide Agreement” between several environmental groups and the Tejon Ranch Company, which is how the Tejon Ranch Conservancy was born.
Now, Tejon Ranch Company’s Quarter One 2014 financial statements say the company is preparing to start construction on TMV. —Patric Hedlund
Three black bears lounged on the deck of Marcia and Ron Henry’s mountain home on Chestnut Court (off upper Linden) in the Pine Mountain community Friday, May 23. A fourth and larger bear with them (top) loitered down below, then climbed a pole and pulled down an electric light. These bears were colored cinnamon, brown and black, but all are known as ‘black bears.’
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This is part of the May 30, 2014 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
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