Neighborhood NewsGreat Falls - Cascade County


Sun River will host a 'Bear Aware and Safety Workshop'

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Bear Aware and Safety Workshop
Posted at 1:34 PM, Apr 26, 2024

In the video above, Paul Sanchez gives a preview of a "Bear Aware & Safety Workshop" that will be held at the fire hall in Sun River (between Vaughn and Simms) on Friday, April 26. The event begins at 6pm and is free and open to all.

Montana is bear country with populations of grizzly and black bears that frequent higher and lower elevations, especially river corridors.

Here are some precautions to help residents, recreationists, and people who work outdoors avoid negative bear encounters:

  • Carry bear spray and be prepared to use it immediately.
  • Make noise to alert bears to your presence and travel in groups.
  • Stay away from animal carcasses, which often attract bears.
  • Follow food storage orders from the applicable land management agency.
  • Keep garbage, bird feeders, pet food and other attractants put away in a secure building. Keep garbage in a secure building until the day it is collected. Certified bear-resistant garbage containers are available in many areas.
  • Never feed wildlife. Bears that become food conditioned lose their natural foraging behavior and pose threats to human safety. It is illegal to feed bears in Montana.

For more information on living, working and recreating in Montana’s bear country, visit the FWP Bear Aware website.

Below is a transcript of the video provided by Paul Sanchez.

The Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks are holding workshops to educate everyone from ranchers to residents and all the hikers and campers, about being Bear Aware.

Bear Management Specialist Wesley Sarmento talked with me after his workshop. We did a Bear Education workshop where we were talking about how to, stay safe from bears and prevent them from coming around, particularly agricultural operations like ranching and farming, how to prevent bears from coming in and causing conflicts and how to stay safe. I think with a drought year like this, we might see a little bit more bear activity, because with less water, there's likely going to be less berries. And a berry crop really predicts how much bear activity there will be near people during the year. And so when there's not enough natural foods, they're going to be searching wider and farther and maybe coming closer to people to find food.

These workshops help you identify between a black bear and a brown bear, which could determine how you react.

Wesley continued, certainly, there's just going to be more grizzly bears every year because they're currently a protected species. And with Teton and Pondera counties also being in drought status, we might have more bear activity this year. I think folks in the area are definitely concerned that bears are starting to expand out. there's a lot of concern for human safety, but also livestock and other types of property. But they were very interested in the information that we provided and interested on how they can stay safe and prevent bears from coming around people.

The workshop teaches you to always carry bear spray and not in your backpack. Don't hike alone, make noise to show your presence. Be Bear Aware when working or hiking in the beautiful outdoors of Montana.

For more information, Click Here.