Colorado Parks and Wildlife managers in the Roaring Fork Valley are preparing for possible significant bear activity again this year and the agency is stressing the importance of volunteers’ help in reducing wildlife conflicts.

Glenwood Springs residents interested in helping their community are invited to attend a Bear Aware training meeting, Saturday April 20, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., at Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Glenwood Springs office.

“We need the community to step-up and help us inform their friends and neighbors about how to reduce close encounters with bears,” said District Wildlife Manger Dan Cacho, of Glenwood Springs. “We will work together to reduce the conflicts with a little knowledge and education.”

Colorado Parks and Wildlife formed Bear Aware as a supplement to state and local law enforcement and information efforts. The volunteers’ main role is to fan out throughout their local community and personally remind their friends and neighbors about some of the practical things everyone can do to minimize wildlife conflicts.

The Glenwood Springs Bear Aware team will provide assistance and education to residents in and around the city, as well as eastern portions of Garfield County.

Wildlife officers say a number of bears in Colorado have lost their fear of humans and aggressively search for food made available by careless people. Accessible trash, pet food left outside, dirty campsites and people that intentionally feed wildlife are among the biggest concerns.

Cacho says that if more people take responsibility for their wildlife and do their part to educate others, it could help reduce the number of bear that are killed each year due to concerns for human health and safety.

“Simple things like keeping trash and food away from bears can help,” said Cacho. “But people often need to be reminded and Bear Aware teams have been effective in spreading education in other communities across Colorado.”

Bear Aware volunteers cannot enforce laws, regulations or ordinances but they can bring violations to the attention of the appropriate authorities. In addition, team members do not handle bears, but occasionally have an opportunity to work with wildlife officers when bears are captured and translocated.

What: Bear Aware Training

When: Saturday, April 20, 6 p.m. -8 p.m.

Where: Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Glenwood Springs office – 0088 Wildlife Way, exit 109 from Interstate 70

Contact:
 Colorado Parks and Wildlife – Glenwood Springs 970-947-2920

For more information about bears, and Bear Aware Teams, please visit: http://cpw.state.co.us/bears

Image courtesy Colorado Parks and Wildlife

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