Bear bait: Kenai council rejects ordinance deregulating backyard chickens

Erik Hill

From the Peninsula Clarion: Months of debate over a proposal to let Kenai residents keep up to a dozen chickens in their backyards without the need for a special permit ended Wednesday. The city council vote 4-3 against the idea, and bears were the reason.

All along, residents seeking chickens could apply though [Kenai's] conditional use permitting process, but [councilman Mike] Boyle said the process is cumbersome. His goal was to streamline chicken ownership by circumventing the conditional use permits.

But most opposition to the ordinance agreed with [Mayor Pat] Porter: Chickens are a bear attractant.

During a Nov. 21 public hearing, Jeff Selinger, Kenai area wildlife biologist for the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, said chickens were the top cause for defense of life and property brown bear killings for 2012 on the Kenai Peninsula.

Read more at the Peninsula Clarion: Chicken's off the menu