Regarding Orange County’s growing coyote problem
By Assemblyman Allan Mansoor
I recently met with several concerned citizens in Huntington Beach who had contacted me about an increased presence of coyotes in their neighborhoods and told them I would work with them on the issue. Following that meeting, I attended a town hall meeting in Seal Beach about the same issue. There were at least 200 people there and they expressed increasing concern about the impacts and increased incidents regarding coyotes, especially when it comes to elderly residents, small children, and pets.
I have heard concerns before, but never in this amount. When that many people show up at a town hall, and personally contact my office, I take it seriously.
I appreciate the input from the public and the panelists. Town halls are a good starting point for information but what we need now is action and results.
Past efforts have included education such as letting people know to not leave pet food (or your pets) out at night, don’t put your trash out at night, removing fallen fruit, and even “hazing” or scaring the coyotes off by yelling or throwing things at them.
While some of this may have some effect, I don’t think elderly people or people with small children really feel comfortable engaging the coyotes unless absolutely necessary.
There was some discussion about trapping but it seemed to be limited and only for certain “bad” coyotes. I see no reason why we don’t make thinning the population a more regular part of our plan while continuing with our education efforts. Yes, there are costs, but they can be shared. The cost however of an incident with a small child or elderly person is much greater. Let’s not wait for that.
City by city efforts may have some effect, but I suggest a more regional effort where two or three cities work together, share information, share costs, and occasionally meet to update and be accountable to the people we serve.
I am going to be having a public meeting soon and have already started making calls to various agencies to get their input and buy in. The source of the coyotes could very well be the same for two or three connected cities. That is why we need a results based regional task force where we all pull on the rope at the same time. For example, Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach, and Fountain Valley could be working together on this issue as could Seal Beach, Los Alamitos, and Rossmoor, etc. We can no longer point the finger at someone else and say it’s your job, not mine.
Coyotes may be smart, but by working together we can keep our kids, our elderly, and our entire community safe and I am committed to working with you on that.
Assemblyman ALLAN MANSOOR represents Orange County’s 74th Assembly District and is a candidate for the Orange County Board of Supervisors.