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Problem Bears or Problem People?

Posted by Susan Drumheller at Jun 08, 2011 12:10 PM |
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Wildlife biologist Becky Haag discusses human-bear encounters at our first ICL After Hours event.

Problem Bears or Problem People?

Idaho Department of Fish and Game photo

Bonner County has a bear problem—or is it really a people problem?

Last year, Bonner County had a record number of bear complaints—770 complaints, in fact. That's a whopping 740 more complaints than in any other county in Idaho.

All those negative human-bear interactions amount to a lot of danger—for people and bears alike.

The Upper Panhandle is bear country: We've got lots of black bears and two threatened populations of grizzly bears in the Cabinet and the Selkirk mountains.

But when folks unintentionally or intentionally attract bears with bird feeders or dog food or even doughnuts, they're not helping them to survive. Instead, they may be sealing their fate.

Last year was an extreme year. Natural food sources were scarce. But sloppy human habits in bear country only exacerbate the problem.

Becky Haag, an Idaho Department of Fish and Game wildlife biologist, will discuss the problem and solutions during "Beers and Bears—Living with Wildlife," the first in a series of ICL After Hours events. The presentation is at 5:30 pm, Wednesday, June 16, at Ivano's Ristorante.

Come enjoy a glass of wine or a beer and discuss how to live with bears and protect our endangered grizzlies.

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Bears and People

Posted by Mike DeMarco at Jun 10, 2011 01:48 PM
I think that most "game management" is really "people management." In the case of bears and people that is definitely the case. The critters with a powerful sense of smell will be attracted to those places that smell like food. This isn't rocket science. As more and more people move into the hills there will be more and more encounters. Having lived with grizzly bears I can attest that one tends to pay more attention when claws get longer.

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