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Fort Bragg Ordinance Prohibits the Feeding of Wildlife and Requires the Regular Cleaning of Birdfeeders


The following is a press release issued by the City of Fort Bragg:

[Pictures of this squirrel provided by Sarah Baitis]

On September 13, 2021 the City Council adopted a new ordinance that takes meaningful action to protect the environment by prohibiting the feeding of wildlife in the City of Fort Bragg. With the opening of the various sections of the City’s Coastal Trail between 2015 and 2019, there has been a significant increase in the number of visitors recreating on the shoreline. While locals and visitors alike treasure the new access to the coast, there has been an increase in negative impacts to wildlife.

While it can be amusing to have a squirrel or a raven eat your french fry, it jeopardizes the health of that animal, and can lead to overcrowding of wildlife, destruction of their native ecosystems, and has potential for disease transmission. The Mendocino Coast Audubon Society explained that “the number of ravens attracted to our parks, especially the coastal trails, has escalated to the point where they are a threat to other bird populations.”

Ravens are well known for becoming nuisance birds, and will often destroy both public and personal property and prey on the nests of other shorebirds. When ravens become a serious nuisance, they have to be abated. Preventing this scenario was a leading driver for Council passing the ordinance prohibiting the feeding of wildlife.

According to the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, “If wild animals have access to human food and garbage, unnatural foraging behavior can begin. Wildlife venturing into neighborhoods puts both people and animals at risk. Wildlife become susceptible to vehicle strikes, pesticide poisoning, injury from other wildlife, and disease. Public safety may be compromised.”

The ordinance passed by City Council also addresses birdfeeders. In 2020, salmonella spread through bird feeders killing song birds up and down the west coast. City Council included provisions that require bird feeders to be kept clean and at a reasonable distance from the ground. “We want people to be able to enjoy local wildlife, but we have to make sure it does not result in harm to, or decimation of wild animals,” says City Manager Tabatha Miller.

The full text of the new Municipal Code Chapter 7.18 Feeding of Wildlife can be found in Chapter 7.18 of the Fort Bragg Municipal Code. Questions regarding this information should be directed to the Community Development Department at (707) 961-2827, Ext. 118.


  1. Do you ever think they will quit making laws? We need to get rid of laws seems they make 3 or 4 everyday, an the voters never have their say on anything, laws policies ect. just your snake in the grass politicians an their followers. with a desire to destroy everything we have, an put something new in its place, good or bad.

  2. If common sense were common then most laws wouldn’t be needed. But there’s too many people that need their hand held to get through the day.

  3. So if a fish boat pulls into the harbor cleaning fish throwing guys and heads out to be picked up by gulls, seals, and the like than they’ll get fined what about food scraps under the bridges feeding skunks, raccoons, and rats. So well fine and potentially arrest working men and women and further persecute the very people we supposedly feel need the most health. The last time I was in Fort Bragg it was a FBPD officer that placed his last bit of fries on top of the over piled trash can I guess to feed the homeless just like the rest of the council says.

  4. Meth-heads, drugged up bums all over the streets, gang bangers, and what are the smug progressives of Fort Bragg governance most concerned about? French fries for squirrels.

  5. Hey non fiction, if you read, i dont make policy. I have to follow it an pay for it , common sense would dictate to stop with the laws before you need a special card to use the restroom in a gas station.

    • I’ll keep an eye out for any proposals for such a thing….uh, yeah right.
      Not sure how u made that “leap” from don’t feed the animals to bathroom restrictions?!?
      No common or sensical connection there.
      Overactive imagination maybe?

      Nothing new or complicated about Don’t feed the animals.

      • Nothing new or complicated about making laws that will never be enforced, but still the voter gets no say. do you understand that part? The rest of the people in area may not feel that way. Shouldnt their voices be heard also?

  6. Where does your presumption that the ordinance won’t be enforced come from?
    Do you have some special info?

    People do have a say.
    That’s what elections, city council meetings, letters to the council & councilors/reps, letters to editors, protests, direct action, civil disobedience, etc are for.

    As far as feeding the animals goes, “feelings” shouldn’t really matter. Way too subjective.
    How about facts and repeatable observations?
    Humans feeding wild animals is, “generally” speaking, detrimental to the animals and the human environment. Health and safety issues for both.
    Feelings and good intentions aren’t enough

    • Go to ukiah an watch the revolving door process to law enforcement. like i said i dont presume , im showing you proof!

      • Proof? Of what? The
        I don’t see any details or “proof” offered by you in this discussion showing anything of substance 1 way or the other, except maybe some speculative presumptions and hypothesizing about lack of citizen access.
        Maybe verify the definition of proof vs unsubstantiated leaps.

        What about law enforcement in Ukiah has anything to do with any of this?
        What does your random unexplained “parallel” “prove” about a don’t feed the animals ordinance in FB?

        Ft Bragg is an incorporated city.
        Ordinances enacted by the Ft Bragg city council are dealt with ONLY within the boundaries of the CITY of Ft Bragg.
        Ukiah is a different and separate jurisdiction with it’s own ordinances, as are Willits & Pt Arena, and the Unincorporated areas of Mendo COUNTY.

        You may have some fundamentally flawed ideas & misconceptions about the basic premises of how government entities and their jurisdictions function and the inherent options for citizen engagement with them.

  7. Detrimental to animals: running over them, logging their forests, planting vineyards, fences everywhere, pleasure killing (”hunting”) …we’ve made their lives dangerous and difficult for centuries. Feed ’em.

    • And when the animals lose all fear of humans they end up euthanized because they attack people or bring disease.
      Not a solution.
      Fed wild animals often forget how to source food and therefore can’t teach the young.

      The foundations of the problems must be addressed not band aided.

      Hunting is not pleasure killing.
      Sustenance vs entertainment.
      Who’s hunting ground squirrels and ravens on the coast?

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFever
Picking Brains—Baring Bones—Playing it By Ear: I'm a reporter in Mendocino County and the Founder of MendoFever.

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