By SARA HALM and LUKE LAMAR
For eight years Swan Valley Bear Resources (SVBR) has served the upper Swan Valley community, offering various resources for residents to reduce the chance of bear conflict and promote coexistence. One of these resources are education and outreach events. This year SVBR moved its popular summer event, the Bear Fair, north to target Ferndale area residents where bear-related conflicts and mortalities have been occurring at alarming rates. The event brought together regional bear experts, organizations, and companies to share information about bear ecology, behavior, conservation, and conflict reduction strategies.
We’d like to thank the Rocky Mountain Roadhouse for providing a great venue and tasty food for this year’s event. We would also like to acknowledge our dynamic presenters; Lori Roberts (Research Biologist, Fish, Wildlife and Parks), Chris Servheen (former Grizzly Bear Recovery Coordinator, US Fish and Wildlife Service), and Tim Manley (Bear Management Specialist, Fish Wildlife and Parks).
A wide array of organizations and companies were also present, offering informative displays and demonstrations. We’d like to thank Vital Ground, Counter Assault, Montana Outdoors Legacy Foundation, Gallagher Fencing, Defenders of Wildlife, Montana Land Reliance, and Cenex CHS for their participation.
Finally, we’d like to thank all the community members who attended to learn more about the challenges of living in bear country. SVBR is already looking forward to hosting another Bear Fair in the Ferndale area in future years!