We want to ensure that people and bears can coexist together. This kind of tough love is saving bears while protecting property and small livestock. As bears emerge from their dens each spring, they find themselves roaming into valley bottoms looking for easily accessible food resources. Many of those foods are found on private lands with chicken coops or fruit trees that we don’t want them getting into. Electric fencing around these attractants is a simple and effective way to keep bears out of conflict with people all year long.  It’s a win-win situation for bears and landowners.

 
Russell Talmo, Rockies & Plains associate at Defenders of Wildlife
MISSOULA, Mont.,
22
May
2018
|
04:31 PM
America/New_York

For Immediate Release

Bears in Your Backyard? Defenders of Wildlife Can Help!

Defenders of Wildlife’s 8th annual Electric Fence Incentive Program is underway. People in specified counties in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming and eastern Washington can apply for funding and technical assistance to build bear-resistant electric fencing that safely protects property from grizzly and black bears.

Russell Talmo, Rockies and Plains Program Associate with Defenders of Wildlife, issued this statement:

“We want to ensure that people and bears can share the landscape together. This kind of tough love is saving bears while protecting property and small livestock. As bears emerge from their dens each spring, they find themselves roaming into valley bottoms looking for easily accessible food resources. Many of those foods are found on private lands with chicken coops or fruit trees that we don’t want them getting into. Electric fencing around these attractants is a simple and effective way to keep bears out of conflict with people all year long. It’s a win-win situation for bears and landowners.”

Background:

When bears find unnatural foods like garbage, fruit trees and livestock, it often results in a conflict situation where they are killed by landowners or lethally removed by management agencies. By preventing such conflicts, we are benefiting both people and bears. Properly installed bear-resistant electric fencing is a simple and effective way to do just that.

Defenders of Wildlife’s Electric Fence Incentive Program reimburses 50 percent of the cost of an electric fence (up to $500) for securing items that attract grizzly bears, such as chickens and other livestock, garbage, bees, gardens and fruit trees. The incentive is available in eligible counties in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming and eastern Washington. Since the program’s start in 2010, we have helped more than 300 landowners complete electric fences on private lands. Defenders continues to monitor pre- and post-fencing human-bear conflicts on private lands by surveying participants whose electric fences have been in use for greater than one year. With more than a third of past participants surveyed, 95% of fences are still in use (the five percent not in use are because the participant removed the attractant or personally relocated) and 98% report that their fence has been successful.

More information and applications can be found at https://defenders.org/got-grizzlies.

Defenders of Wildlife is dedicated to the protection of all native animals and plants in their natural communities. With over 1.8 million members and activists, Defenders of Wildlife is a leading advocate for innovative solutions to safeguard our wildlife heritage for generations to come. For more information, visit Newsroom.Defenders.org and follow us on Twitter @DefendersNews.