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.

 

Panel 1

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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Who We Are

We are a volunteer based 501(c)(3)nonprofit organization and our mission is protecting the lives of black bears by working on proactive measures to prevent and reduce negative human-bear conflicts.

Daniela Kohl founded Roaring Fork Bears in 2019 as a part-time resident for over 21 years. Her love and support for bears comes from her childhood growing up in Switzerland & France where she enjoyed hiking, mountain climbing and Nordic ski skating, biathlon and target shooting. There were not too many bears but the occasional European Syrian brown bear was spotted in the Alps between Austria, Italy, France and Switzerland.

In 2014, Daniela became deeply involved in rescuing a tiny grizzly bear cub from a roadside zoo used for photo ops and pay-to-play sessions in South Florida. This was the beginning of her hands-on involvement with bears and when she started actively working with a Florida bear protection advocacy group. She experienced the positive impact that raising awareness and retrofitting trash cans could have on reducing human-bear conflicts. These successes were a major influence on starting her own bear protection grassroots movement desperately needed in the Roaring Fork Valley, Glenwood Springs and the City of Aspen where bear conflicts were increasing due to urban sprawl and outdoor recreational activities.

Roaring Fork Bears knows the importance of supporting and helping local wildlife shelters and rehabbers and is proud to support the Pauline S. Schneegas Wildlife Foundation and it’s founder Nanci Limbach. PSSWF is one of the only private Bear Rehab facilities left in Colorado, they receive no government funding and rely solely on private donations. For more info visit their website.

In 2016 after joining the IBA (International Association for Bear Research and Management).  Daniela had a serendipitous meeting with its founder and Chair of the Bear Conservation Fund, Julia Bevins. The two developed a wonderful friendship sharing the same love and passion for bears both in the wild and captivity. Daniela’s commitment was increasing and she began researching and learning everything she could about bear behavior, biology, research, living and recreating in bear country etc. This knowledge also connected her with some of the best bear biologists and researchers and these experts continue to provide wonderful support and great advice to RFB.

Roaring Fork Bears is consistently working on innovative ways and solutions to get the public more engaged to coexist peacefully with our beautiful black bears. We know that with the help from local government agencies, proper enforcement and effective waste management that we can all keep bears protected and people safe. Since we have the privilege to live in prime black bear habitat, it is up to us to fundamentally change our behavior towards bears and how to keep them from coming into the city.

Learning the difficult choices our wildlife managers have to make and walking a fine line between politics and the public with increasing sprawl into undeveloped areas can be gut wrenching. By working alongside CPW on “Bear-Aware” programs and connecting communities and partnering with cities, towns, municipalities are of key importance.

We are giving out educational “Bear Aware” and “Bear Wise” materials such as door hangers, magnets, big stickers for trash cans and offer free of charge retrofitting kits for making existing trash cans bear resistant. A local scout, Nate Thomas, made these efforts the focus of his Eagle Scout project in 2019-20, and now we have an exclusive collaboration of BSA Aspen Troop 201.

Scoutmaster Michael Bair and the troop committee chair Lyn Bair have been instrumental in creating awareness in many aspects of Roaring Fork Bears, Michael is 5th generation in the Roaring Fork Valley and Lyn is a retired teacher and principal from RE-1 schools, their long understanding and commitment to the valley are great assets to our bear group. To date we have retro-fitted hundreds of cans into bear resistant ones for communities in mobile homes and residents in the Roaring Fork Valley.

We encourage residents to buy a bear resistant trash can (BRC). With the support of our generous donors, community and fundraising events, we hope to provide a source for heavily-discounted BRCs that are compliant with local trash companies for Roaring Fork Valley residents who are committed to using one and are in most need.

We know that bears are highly evolved, altruistic and sentient with the intelligence of the great apes. The bears have family units and are known to share territory of food sources with unrelated bears. As a larger community maybe we can find a peaceful and respectful way to coexist with these amazing complex creatures. As an organization, we are committed to helping our community members learn more and set an example for everyone that lives in bear country.

If you would like to support our efforts, please donate to our cause today.  Send checks to P.O. Box 5842, Snowmass CO 81615 or call Daniela directly for more information.

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IF YOU SEE A BEAR…

  • 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

THE SAD TRUTH… WHAT HAPPENS WHEN BEARS BECOME TOO COMFORTABLE AROUND HUMANS?

  • 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

AVOID ATTRACTING BEARS

  • Store your trash and recyclables in bear-resistant containers until morning of pick-up or in a secure area. Never leave it outside of the dumpster
  • Remove your bird feeders when bears are active (March till December)
  • Secure chicken coops, beehives, and livestock with electric fencing
  • Never leave petfood outdoors – keep and store wildlife feeders and livestock feed indoors in bear-resistant containers
  • Protect your garden: compost pile properly, pick fruit from trees, clean up fallen fruit or donate
  • Anything that smells like food attracts bears
  • Keep BBQ and grease traps clean with ammonia, bleach, or a de-greasing agent
  • 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, take bear bells
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and avoid using headphones
  • Never feed or approach bears
  • 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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Social Feed

Join our Facebook group!

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition

1 day 11 hours ago

“Coexisting with black bears often means keeping them from getting food and garbage from around your home, business, and farms.” -Colleen Olfenbuttal, North Carolina Wildlife

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition

4 days 16 hours ago

It’s the time of the year again in January and February when baby bears are born and dens turn into nurseries 🍼🍼🍼🧸🧸🧸🎉🎉🎉 Mother bears (sow)

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition

6 days 8 hours ago

Some good stuff happening for orphaned bear cubs 🙌🙌🐻🐻

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition

1 week 1 day ago

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition is feeling happy.

1 week 4 days ago

Soon amazing Mother Black Bears will give birth to tiny little cubs weighing less than an pound 🍼🍼🍼🧸🧸🧸 The reproductive success of black bears is

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition

1 week 4 days ago

Bear Den Visit with Wildlife Research Biologist Dave Garshelis 🐻🧸🧸

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition

2 weeks 20 hours ago

We much appreciate the great education & tips from the world’s top bear experts, researchers and biologist. Their clear and consistent messaging provides the necessary

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition

2 weeks 3 days ago

Kilham's observations collected while following radio-collared bears, along with genetic analyses of their identities, constitute one of the richest repositories of information ever gathered about

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition

2 weeks 6 days ago

Here is to a New Year of Health, Happiness, Peace, Love and Bears 🤍🐻🐻🐻✨💫 . Show You Care🤍Save A Bear🐻 roaringforkbears.org . #BeSmarterThanTheAverageBear #ShowYouCareSaveABear #RoaringForkBears

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition

3 weeks 18 hours ago

Consider making a New Year's resolution to remove bear attractants from around your home and property, cabin, picnic spot or campsite. Bear attractants include trash,