To honor our incredible wildlife, Defenders has declared 2019 the Year of Coexistence. Over the course of the year, we'll highlight innovative ways people are sharing the landscape with wildlife.
February: Grizzly Bears
The ESA has given grizzly bears much needed protections and numbers in some populations have increased substantially, while bears continue to expand into historic habitat. Recognizing that human-bear conflicts were a leading cause of human-related grizzly bear deaths, Defenders initiated our grizzly bear conflict mitigation, or coexistence, program in the late 1990s. Since 1998, we have invested over $750,000 on projects in the lower 48 that prevent conflicts between bears and people.
These projects involve diverse collaborations with local residents, state, federal and tribal agencies, and conservation organizations. It is imperative to recovery that we save the lives of grizzly bears, but it is also critical that we address the concerns of residents that live and work around them, making safer spaces for both bears and people. Our projects are diverse, ranging from assisting with securing waste transfer sites in communities to electric fencing to range rider programs to bear spray trainings.