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Human-Bear Conflicts

Colorado Launches New Grants to Prevent Human-Bear Wildlife Conflicts

DENVER, COLORADO – In a significant move towards fostering harmony between humans and wildlife, Colorado, through a joint announcement by Governor Jared Polis, the Department of Natural Resources, and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW), has launched a new installment of the Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Community Grant Program. This initiative is designed to equip local communities with the necessary tools and resources to mitigate conflicts with bears, emphasizing coexistence and safety.

With an application deadline set for May 24, 2024, CPW is dedicating $1 million in grant funding to support projects aimed at reducing bear-human encounters. This funding is part of a continued effort, backed by the successful passage of House Bill 21-1326 in 2021, to address the increasing interactions between Colorado’s growing bear population and its residents.

Governor Polis highlighted the importance of these grants in ensuring the safety and well-being of both Colorado’s human and bear populations. By promoting bear-proofing measures in homes and neighborhoods, the program aims to minimize the potential for conflicts that can lead to property damage, personal harm, or the unfortunate necessity to euthanize bears that pose a threat to human safety.

Eligible applicants for the grant include local governments, non-governmental organizations, homeowner associations, community groups, businesses, tribes, universities, and individuals, with funding amounts ranging from $50,000 to $500,000. The grants are intended for projects that can demonstrate a significant impact on reducing bear attractants, such as unsecured trash cans and dumpsters, which have been identified as primary causes of bear-human conflicts.

CPW Grant Manager Travis Long emphasized the collaborative nature of these efforts, noting the high level of public interest and community involvement in the program. Projects that have received funding in the past have shown promising results in reducing bear-related incidents, particularly in areas like southwest Colorado, where bear-resistant trash containers have been deployed.

With Colorado’s bear population estimated between 17,000 and 20,000, and reported sightings and conflicts on the rise, the need for proactive measures has never been greater. This grant program not only offers financial assistance to communities seeking to mitigate these conflicts but also fosters a broader conversation on how to live responsibly alongside our wild neighbors.

Applications for the grant are available on CPW’s website, with a deadline of May 24, 2024, at 5 p.m. Successful recipients will be announced in July 2024, marking another step forward in Colorado’s commitment to wildlife conservation and community safety.

Alex Derr, Founder of The Next Summit

Alex Derr is an Eagle Scout, climber, and environmental policy expert located in Denver, Colorado. He created The Next Summit to help others stay safe exploring the mountains and advocate to preserve the peaks for the future. Follow him on Linkedin or Twitter or click here to contact him.

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Hi, I'm Alex!

In 2018, I watched in disbelief as dozens of people hiked into a storm on Longs Peak, unaware of the extreme danger. Soon after, I started The Next Summit to educate and empower the public to safely and responsibly explore America's mountains.

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