Colorado Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Goal of $1 Million CPW Program
DENVER (KDVR) — An initiative to improve general safety for bears and humans co-existing in the great outdoors of Colorado is moving forward with a healthy $1 million grant program serving as the primary catalyst.
According to Colorado Parks and Wildlife, there are between 8,000 and 12,000 black bears living in the Colorado wilderness. But unfortunately, mainly due to the way people handle their garbage adjacent to the house, these bears invade areas populated by humans in search of food.
Between 2019 and 2021, approximately 14,000 bear sightings were reported to CPW, some of which escalated into “human-bear conflicts”. Now, due to the death last year of HB21-1326community groups, businesses, universities, tribes, NGOs, local governments and individuals can all apply to CPW to see if they qualify for part of the Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Community Grant Program.
Any entity that meets these criteria is encouraged to apply, but according to CPW, applicants they choose must have a proposal that carries community support, has achievable goals and timelines, and most importantly, pushes to minimize the human interaction with bears.
“This is a huge opportunity for local governments and partners to work with Parks and Wildlife to reduce human-bear conflict to keep communities and properties safer and better protect Colorado’s iconic black bear populations. “said Gov. Jared Polis.
According to CPW, the applicant’s previous conflict minimization efforts should be included in the application, as well as the impacts that the implementation of the proposed program could have on surrounding municipalities.
Candidates CPW eventually selects will receive a portion of the $1 million set aside for this program in the Bill 2020-21 General Fund Transfer Support Department Of Natural Resources Programs, which will be between $50,000 and $500,000.
“High-priority projects will model solutions to conflict, be innovative, replicable by other communities, involve multiple partners, and address a need in a high-conflict area,” said the Deputy Regional Director for the Northeast Region. is from CPW and responsible for this effort, Kristin Canon.
The deadline for submitting an application for the scholarship program, full details of which are at the map pageis May 6 at 5 p.m.
Those interested in applying can also attend the virtual meeting to learn more about the program leads on March 24 from 6-8 p.m.
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