Roaring Fork Bears Newsletter — Year in Review.
Roaring Fork Bears Newsletter
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A Note from Dany, our founder ...

Happy Holidays everyone!

At Roaring Fork Bears we've been so busy with all the recent bear activity that we missed Giving Tuesday and Colorado Gives Day.  Nevertheless, I wanted to update you on all that we've accomplished since autumn of last year.  Below you will find not just how beary busy we've been but get to learn some interesting factoids about how the bears in our area live and how we can better coexist in their midst.

Also, I would like to thank everyone that has supported us over the last few years.  We have grown and are making a difference because of your efforts.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! Together we are making a difference.


Bear Season at a Glance

Flashback to October 2022:

We sponsored the 6th International Human-Bear Conflicts Workshop in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, for the first time. I met with friends, scientists, and bear experts from the International Association for Research and Management (IBA) and around the globe.

Last year, we recommended to our local Boy and Girl Scout Troops (BSA) crafting birdhouses/nesting boxes instead of birdfeeders, especially living in Bear Country. National BSA changed the Cub Scout nature adventure, which was encouraged and followed suit. Look at our website for all the BearWise® tips on Attracting Birds, Not Birds!

Early in spring 2023:


We made bear straps with a group of Aspen High School senior girls led by BSA Eagle Scout Lilly Huggard (Sea Scout Ship 201).


Many realtors, who are fantastically bear-aware, reached out requesting our bilingual bear education materials to include in their rental packages and for HOAs.

We received several phone calls about lone bear cubs wandering in people’s backyards. Can you “take a picture” we ask, because we have learned that often the “cub” turns out not to be a cub but a scrawny-looking yearling or subadult 2-3 years old. 

When we haze these new wanderers and not let them linger around yards, the bears are more likely to avoid humans. What works best is tough love because it teaches them to become “good” bears, shy  and wanting nothing to do with humans.


FYI, a Bear’s typical home range: 

The yearlings, last year's cubs of the year might have been recently emancipated from their mom, and now they must look for their home range. Males (boars) can have an extensive home range of up to 300 sq mi, while females (sows) up to 50 sq mi.

Summer and Fall Community & Farmers’ Markets: 

Thanks to all our incredible friends, supporters, and visitors who stopped by our booth! Everyone seemed eager to learn about bear behaviors and habitats. More people are trying their best to live more bear-aware (thanks to added efforts by local governments who continue to reinforce and educate residents and visitors about good bear-aware behaviors).

Lots of Bear Friendly Human Activity ...

We distributed our NeighBEARHood alert signs across the local valleys.

More people are carrying bear spray and we teach how to use it correctly, it can save lives. 

We also offered electrified bear deterrent mats as free loaners for our community members.

The Bear hazing tools for home or hiking: a rechargeable blaster siren instead of air horn. 

Numerous citizens have received our fully automated Kodiak KP95-HDLL or Toter Bear-resistant containers that are IGBC-certified (BRCs). Communities from Aspen to the Grand Valley are seeing a big difference.


In September, Aspen Girl Scout Troop 15014 assembled more bear straps to retrofit trash cans and crafted bird nesting boxes in the Pitkin County Public Library.

An HOA in New Castle asked for a Bear-Aware presentation and requested more free bear straps. They were happy because they worked well.

Please visit our website to see our new videos, including one of a black Bear “working” on a trash can retrofitted with our 4-straps in Bozeman, Montana.


Hyperphagia & Fall Transition

When metabolic processes change in preparation for hibernation bears become lethargic, the active heart rates fall to 50-60 per minute, and the sleeping heart rate drops to less than 22 per minute.  Upon entering the den, bears go without food and water for months. Mothers don’t produce cubs if they do not get enough to eat in the fall, and some bears die in the den.

Hyperphagia is an increase in feeding activity driven by a biological need to fatten up before bears go into the den for the winter. It’s a feeding frenzy or an all-you-can-eat buffet bear style. They are increasing their food intake by up to 20,000 calories daily and can eat twenty hours per day.  

High-calorie foods Bear foods:

Berries, called soft mast, are a significant food source for Bears, serviceberries, chokecherry, crab apples, and other seasonal berries that ripen into September.

1 pound of wild berries has fewer than 300 calories.
28.26 pounds of chokecherries equals  20,00 calories
11.2 pounds of acorns equals 20,000 calories
Acorns, hickory, and beechnuts are called hard mast and mature in late summer and fall.
Bird feeders are an easy source of high-caloric food for bears (7 pounds of birdseed equals 12,180 calories.)

Human food equivalent:

20 chicken sandwiches +
10 large orders of french fries +
10 soft drinks +
10 milkshakes equals approximately 20,000 calories.

It is humbling to know that RFBears can give BRCs to our community and help reduce the human-bear conflict.

BEARY MERRY CHRISTMAS & HAPPY NEW YEAR from all of us at Roaring Fork Bears!

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We are a volunteer-based 501(c)(3)nonprofit; if you need help or want to get involved, please contact us at [email protected] or 305-710-2977.

Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition
P.O.Box 932, Carbondale, CO, United States, Colorado
Copyright 2023 © Roaring Fork Valley Bear Coalition