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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Our Mission

 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 “Be Bear Wise” materials can help our community better understand bear behaviors.
  • By working alongside with CPW on “Bear Aware” and “Be 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 lives of black bears by working on proactive measures to prevent and reduce negative human-bear conflicts. 

We are constantly working on innovative ways and solutions to get the public more engaged to coexist peacefully with our beautiful black bears. 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 towns.

By working alongside with CPW on “Bear-Aware” programs, connecting community and partnering with cities, towns, municipalities are of key importance. 

We are giving out educational bear care kits with “Bear Aware” and “Be Bear Wise” materials such as door hangers, magnets, big stickers for trash cans and offer free of charge retrofitting for making existing trash cans bear resistant, with the exclusive collaboration of BSA Aspen Troop 201. One of the boy scouts Nate Thomas made it his Eagle Scouts project in 2019 and 2020 crafting straps and retrofitting them on trash cans.

To date we have retro-fitted hundreds of cans into bear resistant ones for communities in mobile homes and residences in the Roaring Fork Valley.  

We always encourage people to buy a bear resistant trash can (BRC), which we are able to provide with the help and support of our generous donors, community and fundraiser events. Our immediate goal is to raise enough funds to buy bear resistant trash cans for everyone who needs it. 

Our focus is changing people’s behavior in order to keep bears and wildlife wild and people save.


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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


  • 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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