NEW ‘BEAR AWARE’ MATERIALS TAKE AIM AT ‘PEOPLE PROBLEMS’
With the awakening of bears across Colorado, comes a new suite of tools available to the public from the Division of Wildlife (DOW). Living with bears in Colorado is a new web page filled with materials that those who care about bears can use in their community, at the campsite, or on the trail to encourage responsible stewardship.
Bears that get comfortable being in close proximity to people are often more likely to pose a threat to human safety. Every year, the DOW must take on the difficult task of putting down bears that have been habituated to human-provided food. This can be avoided if all people practice and encourage ‘bear aware’ behaviors in their area.
Since human behavior is the key, the DOW has created downloadable pieces that can be utilized in areas where bears are known to frequent. Homeowners or renters in bear country can employ:
In addition, the Living with bears in Colorado web page provides some information on ‘Bear Aware’ teams—trained local members of the community who help encourage responsible behavior in their own backyards by helping neighbors learn how to bearproof, provide information about bears in the area and educate about bears in Colorado.
“We hope these new tools will move Coloradoans past knowing about enticing bears to doing something about it,” said Lisa Evans, northeast region education coordinator. “If we work together to bearproof the homes and businesses in bear country, we can greatly reduce damage caused by bears and help prevent the unnecessary destruction of many bears every summer.”