Mineral County is Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Grant recipient


DENVER — Governor Jared Polis and Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) announced Tuesday, Aug. 22, the 2023 funding recipients of the Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Community Grant, including Mineral County. This grant program provides funding for local communities, municipalities, businesses and nonprofit organizations working to create innovative ways to reduce human-bear conflict and keep communities safe.

Mineral County received $46,500 for bear-resistant dumpsters.

“Colorado is home to iconic wildlife, including black bears, and as our state grows, we must take action to protect the native wildlife and their habitats,” said Governor Polis. “Bear damage can be expensive for communities and homeowners to repair. Because of this, we must continue to support local strategies that prevent conflicts before they happen to save people money and keep communities safe. I am thrilled to announce the 14 recipients of this funding, and I look forward to how your projects will help your communities, the state, and our bears stay safe!”

In 2021, Governor Polis signed a bipartisan law HB 21-1326 sponsored by Rep. Barbara McLachlan, Rep. Perry Will and Senator Tammy Story which directed CPW to distribute funding to local communities to help reduce human-bear conflicts and support native species conservation. The Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Community Grant was created to accomplish this and to support local initiatives working to prevent bear conflicts.

"We all have a role to play in protecting Colorado's wildlife. By investing in projects that prevent human-bear conflict, we do better for our communities and keep our iconic wildlife safe. I am so excited to highlight these 14 innovative projects designed to reduce human-bear conflict in communities and keep people and bears safe," said First Gentleman Marlon Reis. "By supporting communities in their efforts to educate Coloradans about how to coexist with wildlife, we can prevent damage, keep people safe, and ensure Colorado black bears live long and happy lives."

Last summer, Gov. Polis and CPW announced the first recipients of the grant program and distributed $997,138 to support the selected projects. Following last year's success, CPW extended the program and provided long-term sustainable funding to continue to support efforts that reduce human-bear conflicts.

This spring, CPW offered up to $1 million, distributed through a competitive grant process, in order to support more projects that prevent conflicts with bears in local communities. Twenty applications for this year's grant funding were received with applicants applying from all four regions of Colorado.

“Human-bear conflict measures cannot be successful without collaboration between local communities, wildlife managers and individuals,” said CPW Grant Manager Travis Long. “Fortunately, CPW saw success with this grant program last year with many communities taking advantage of the opportunities this funding provided and implementing projects to help reduce conflicts with bears.”

The following 14 projects were selected to receive grant funding:

  • Mineral County — Bear-resistant Dumpsters — $46,500 awarded — Mineral and Hinsdale counties are destinations for a variety of summer and fall visitors from across the country. Many of these visitors have summer vacation homes in small housing communities, or rent cabins at their favorite guest ranches across the two counties. These communities and ranches provide a central dumpster station for their guests. However, this has become increasingly problematic as bears are attracted to and dependent on the trash as a food source. Grant funding will help provide high-quality bear-resistant dumpsters to these communities and ranches in both counties, with the goal of eliminating bears’ ability to get a "taste" of civilization. The counties will also continue education efforts for residents and visitors on proper bear etiquette everywhere, not just around the dumpster area.
  • Boulder Bear Coalition — Boulder County Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Project — $107,225
  • City of Gunnison — Waste Management Improvements — $69,000
  • Steamboat Springs — Bear Proof Dumpster Enclosure Project — $162,000
  • Bear Smart Durango — Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Community Project — $90,000
  • Community Fruit Rescue — Fruit Gleaning — $35,000
  • Beulah Fire Department — Community Human-Bear Conflict Resolution Project — $100,000
  • Snowmass Village — Bear-Proof Curbside Container Program — $57,500
  • Pagosa Lakes Property Owners Asso. — Community Bear Prevention Program — $99,149
  • Summit County — Bear Safe Summit Program — $145,000
  • Granby Rec District — Main Street Bear Trash Cans — $8,500
  • Manitou Springs — Bear Can Community Giving Project — $18,000
  • Idaho Springs — Public Trash Can Replacement Program — $50,000
  • Hoaglund Ranch Homeowners Association — Trash Enclosure — $11,879

For more information on bears in Colorado, visit cpw.state.co.us/bears.