DNR black bear den survey proves productive

The Garrett County Republican

OAKLAND — Last month, as he does every March, Garrett County resident Harry Spiker checked on black bear sows and their cubs as they slept in their dens.

Spiker is a game mammal section leader for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. He is also Maryland’s principal black bear biologist coordinating bear research and management activities statewide. Since he lives and works in Garrett County, he also helps with bear management and nuisance issues locally.

“We maintain a sample of radio-collared sows (female bears) to track population growth and the overall health of the bear population,” Spiker said. “We try to maintain approximately 20 bears with radios across the four western counties. Since bears give birth every other year, that usually has us working about 10 bear dens per year but there are fluctuations as some bears may die, move away, den in unreachable places, etc.”

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Mountain Fresh Farmers Market dates set, some online ordering available

The Garrett County Republican

OAKLAND — A new option is now available for shopping at the Mountain Fresh Farmers Market.

With the current social distancing guidelines, some of the vendors have set up online markets.

Shoppers can purchase from each vendor individually with credit/debit (there is a small fee to help cover credit card fees for each transaction) or mark “pay with check” to pay at the market with check or cash (with no fees).

Customers can also choose where and when to pick up products, with some vendors offering on-farm pickup, as well.

A list of vendors can be found at www.MountainFresh.org/shop, and more vendors will be added.

“In order to help our vendors and customers comply with the social distancing recommendations, we’ve been looking at different farmers market options,” said Cheryl DeBerry, market adviser. “Online ordering with farmers market pick up seemed like the best way to help reduce the crowds and keep people safe.”

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Diehl’s Ford Sales offers meals to anyone who needs one

The Garrett County Republican

GRANTSVILLE — In this time of uncertainty, some families find that they need help with meals. That help is coming from many places, some of which are unexpected, such as from a Ford dealership.

As of today (April 2), 308 free meals have been served at Diehl’s Ford Sales in Grantsville. A new remodel was recently completed there, which includes a full kitchen in the new employee break room. This allows for meals to be kept hot all day.

“Honestly, the idea came to me the first Saturday that this started hitting really hard (March 14),” said Vivian Diehl, office manager and vice president. “I was home and thinking about what we could do to help out our community in this situation. I knew that there were many families that needed food, but also if we could provide the meal to anyone, no questions asked or judgement passed, it could relieve anyone’s stress from this horrible situation we are all in together.”

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