A Practical Guide to Bear Country
Most wildlife management agencies have to spend way too much of their time managing people. Dealing with the public is the number one challenge (after stretching the budget) agencies face today. And even though you're the government and you can make the rules, you know it's not enough to tell people what to do. You have to find ways to motivate, inspire and convince them to do it. Lief Ahlm, Northeast Area Operations Chief of the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish, purchased copies for all of his conservation officers. He says, "Living with Bears is a great book for teaching the public about bears and how to avoid human-bear conflicts." The Colorado Division of WIldlife also believes education is a best way to reach the public and teach them how to coexist with bears. Their first step is training hundreds of Bear Aware volunteers and providing them with copies of Living WIth Bears.
"This book is an important addition to our toolbox. The caring tone, clear messages and sound advice help us reach people in a different way than agencies usually do. It has great potential to inspire changes in behavior and reduce conflicts."Lisa Evans, Northeast Region Education Coordinator, Colorado Division of Wildlife
Bear paw magnets, dumpster stickers and door hangers are just three of the ways the Colorado Bear Aware Team nudges and persuades people to do the bear-smart thing.
There's no better example of agencies and organizations cooperating to prevent human bear conflicts than the Florida Black Bear Festival, now in its 12th year, put on by The U.S. Forest Service, the Florida Wildlife Commission, Defenders of Wildlife, the City of Umatilla and the Umatilla Chamber of Commerce. The festival used to be in October, but now it's in late March, to reach people earlier in the year. The day-long festival in tiny Umatilla draws up to ten thousand visitors who come to have fun while learning how to discourage bears from becoming problems. There are presentations, movies, nature trips, and lots of literature and displays, including Living with Bears.
Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Virginia, Washington, Wyoming
Copyright 2011-2013 Living With Bears / Linda Masterson