Saving Our Bears

Saving Bears One Trash Can At A Time

The Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition focuses on bear protection efforts by taking proactive measures to prevent and minimize bear-human conflicts. If you have a bear issue, please feel free to reach out to us for help and advice.  
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Saving Bears One Trash Can At A Time

 It takes a Valley to keep bears wild and out of town!  

Become a voice for bears! Help keep bears and wildlife wild 

  • Because we have the privilege to live in a prime black bear habitat, it is up to us to fundamentally change our behavior towards bears.
  • Protecting the lives of black bears by working on proactive measures is the most effective way to prevent and reduce negative bear-human conflicts.
  • Implementing innovative ways and solutions to get the public more engaged will ensure peaceful coexistence with black bears.
  • Offering free educational “Bear Aware” and  “Bear Wise” materials can help our community better understand bear behaviors.
  • By working alongside with CPW on “Bear Aware” and “Bear Wise” programs, connecting community, and partnering with local municipalities are of key importance to keep humans and our beautiful black bears safe. 
  • By offering free retro-fit kits we are making existing trash cans bear resistant.**

Saving Bears One Trash Can At A Time 

**To date, we have installed hundreds of bear-resistant straps on existing trash cans for
bear-friendly individuals and families across the Roaring Fork Valley.

With the exclusive collaboration of Boy Scouts of America – Aspen Troop 201,
our bear straps are easily installed onto existing trash cans.
We invite you to
learn more about our bear-resistant straps by visiting our FREE BEAR STRAPS page.


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  • Stay calm and DO NOT run or play dead
  •  Speak to the bear in a calm assertive voice
  • Slowly back away – make sure you are in safe area and that the bear has an escape route
  • It is illegal to harass wildlife and punishable by fine in the State of Colorado. Harassment can include gathering around, pursuing, or trying to take pictures with bears


  • Hazing – using physical discomfort to discourage bears from entering dumpsters, homes, cars, etc.
  • Relocation – tranquilizing and moving bears to a new habitat in the hopes they will not return
  • Euthanization – Colorado Parks & Wildlife is forced to put down numerous bears every year



At Home:

  • Never Feed or Approach Bears 
  • Secure & Store trash and recyclables in bear-resistant containers until morning of pick-up or in a secure area – Never leave trash outside of a dumpster
  • Remove your bird feeders when bears are active (March through December)
  • Never Leave Pet Food Outdoors – keep and store wildlife feeders and livestock feed indoors in bear-resistant containers
  • Secure chicken coops, beehives, and livestock with electric fencing 
  • Clean BBQ grills & grease traps with ammonia, bleach or degreasing agent – Store grills in secure area to keep bears out
  • Anything that smells like food attracts bears
  • Protect your garden: compost pile properly; pick fruit from trees and clean up fallen fruit or donate
  • Alert your neighbors to bear activity or contact Roaring Fork Bear Patrol 305-710-2977


  • Keep your dog on-leash.  Dogs pressure bears to defend themselves; off-leash dogs are the cause of many negative encounters between people and bears or other wildlife
  • While jogging or hiking in the woods, use your voice to avoid a surprise encounter, use a bear whistle or carry bear spray and know how to use it!
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and avoid using headphones
  • Keep all bear-accessible windows closed and locked
  • Lock your vehicle and garage doors – DO NOT LEAVE food or trash inside car

If bears are rewarded with food at your home, bears will keep coming back!

Fed bears frequently cause property damage and can be unfairly labeled as nuisances and are often killed.

Buy a bear resistant can or retrofit a bear resistant strap to your existing can.


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