It may seem like a no-brainer, yet, I feel compelled to offer some good advice today. Don't feed the bears.

Apparently, there is a guy in Durango who doesn't get it. He was recently fined $1,000 for feeding bears near his home. Not only that, it was his third offense in eight years. Which means he is most likely guilty of feeding bears more often than he's been caught.

There have been a number of bear incidents across Colorado this year with bears finding their way into unlocked vehicles and houses foraging for food. Fortunately, we have not been hearing about bear encounters in Fruita like we did a year ago, but you never know when a hungry bear will show up.

These bears aren't looking for trouble, just maybe a bologna sandwich, some fried chicken, or possibly some BBQ spare ribs. They aren't going to find these delicacies in the woods, so why wouldn't they search for something good to eat in town? However, it does present a dangerous situation because bears can be extremely violent and their behavior is unpredictable.

Feeding bears is never a good idea. It only serves to reinforce the idea that where there are people there is food. Which presents a dangerous situation for people and bears alike. The fewer close-up encounters between people and bears, the better it is for everyone.

Many times, bears that end up getting close to humans end up being euthanized because of repeat offenses. Leaving food out for a bear is almost like a death sentence for the animal.

While bears may be enjoyable to watch and experience, the best thing you can do for them and for yourself is to leave them alone, and don't encourage bear/human interaction by leaving food out for them. The bears will do just fine without your help, so please don't feed the bears.

[DURANGO HERALD]