Pocatello resident starting petition against proposed ‘feeding of wildlife’ ordinance

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POCATELLO — Some local citizens are ‘fed’ up with issues of ‘feeding wildlife.’

Bannock County resident Steve Leaman says he’s lived in the Gate City area for some 60 years and has seen wildlife come and go on his property.

He says although he lives in the county, he’s still concerned about a possible ‘feeding of wildlife’ ordinance that could be passed in the city of Pocatello.

“They come in here for protection. I’ve seen them in here starved. That Charlotte Fire took a lot of their feed, and so I see a lot of the animals, all the wildlife coming in and out of here,” Leaman said.

City of Pocatello officials say that if this proposed ordinance is passed, it will prohibit citizens from intentionally, knowingly and recklessly feeding wildlife in city limits.

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“I think when they need a little help, be it the city limits or the county, they ought to be able to, the citizens should be able to help feed them,” says Leaman.

That’s why Pocatello resident Orlando Bejarano is starting a petition to get signatures from neighbors in the Johnny Creek area.

He’s hoping to convince the city council to meet half way with concerned citizens who at least want to be allowed to feed the animals in the winter when food and shelter is scarce.

“During the winter they’re digging around trying to find a blade of grass. I go through the expense myself for the grain to feed them in the winter and anything that they must suggest so that we feed them. I’d be more than happy to take care of this wildlife that I enjoy in my yard and I’ve done a few things to control deer, from a fence and a wall that I paid for,” Bejarano said.

City officials say feeding birds and squirrels is an ‘exception’ in the proposed ordinance.

They also say they will discuss it further in a future study session before the city council votes on the issue.

If the proposed ordinance is passed, any violation of it would be a misdemeanor with a $1,000 fine and/or six month in jail.

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