State Parks and Wildlife sets bear population meeting in Glenwood
Colorado Parks and Wildlife is seeking input as the agency updates its black bear population management plan for the Roaring Fork and Eagle River valleys.
An informational meeting including a presentation of the latest bear population data will take place at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Glenwood Springs Community Center.
Parks and Wildlife updates its bear management plans every 10 years in an effort to establish wildlife population objectives for specific areas. The Wednesday meeting will address game management units in portions of Garfield, Eagle, Pitkin, Grand and Gunnison counties.
“It’s very important that we get input from a good cross-section of people so that we have the info we need to effectively manage bears in this area,” Area Wildlife Manager Perry Will of Glenwood Springs said in a news release.
The process to update wildlife management plans is heavily dependent on public preferences in addition to established wildlife management practices, according to the news release.
The local management unit “is very large, has a diverse mix of habitat, and faces complex management issues,” said CPW biologist Julie Mao of Glenwood Springs. “Everyone that lives here has a stake in the issue, and we encourage the public to let us know what they would like to see in terms of bear management in this DAU.”
Glenwood Springs and other nearby communities had a large number of incidents this past summer and fall involving bears in populated areas getting into people’s trash and seeking out other food sources, due in part to the short supply of natural berries and acorns.
Mao said the goal is to strike the proper balance between a variety of interests and considerations, including current bear population trends, concerns with human/bear conflicts, the economic health of communities dependent on hunting dollars and the general public’s preferences for population levels.
“Because hunting is our primary management tool, it is important that we consider what hunters prefer in terms of opportunity and quality of the hunting experience,” added Mao.
One matter under consideration is how many bear licenses will be available to hunters and what size or age of bears hunters are likely to find, she said.
The public can provide written comments and respond to a short survey by going to, http://www.research.net/s/b11DAUplansurvey. All survey responses and written comments must be submitted by March 15.
Only comments received via the online survey or in written form will be considered for the management plan. Written comments can be submitted to: Julie Mao, Colorado Parks and Wildlife, 0088 Wildlife Way, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601.
A draft of the “B-11” area bear population management plan is available at http://bit.ly/16LAZjp.
For more information about the survey and management plan, contact Julie Mao or Perry Will at (970) 947-2920.
The Glenwood Community Center is located at 100 Wulfsohn Road, and the meeting will be in Sopris Room C.
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