Watch CBS News

Colorado Parks & Wildlife, Gov. Polis hope $1 million grant will help bears and humans live in harmony

Gov. Jared Polis earmarks $1 million to address human and bear interactions
Gov. Jared Polis earmarks $1 million to address human and bear interactions 00:53

Colorado Parks and Wildlife teamed up with Gov. Jared Polis to announce $1 million in grants to reduce human-bear conflicts. Communities across the state can find resources and apply for funding through the Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Community Grant Program.

The grant provides funding to those communities that want to reduce conflicts with bears but lack needed resources. The program is designed to encourage solutions to human-bear conflicts and help replicate what's working across Colorado. 

Wildlife managers estimate that Colorado has between 17,000 - 20,000 bears with the population growing. In four years from 2019-2023, CPW received more than 21,310 reported sightings and conflicts with bears. Nearly one-third of those involved trash cans and dumpsters as an attractant. 

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

That funding was made possible through House Bill 21-1326, which was signed by Polis in 2021. The program was so popular and successful that CPW decided to continue it with funding from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

"Colorado is known for our incredible wild spaces and the animals that call our state home. These grants will help support more bear-proof homes and neighborhoods to ensure that people and animals can live together and avoid conflict that impacts humans and animals," said Polis in a statement.     

"Human-bear conflict measures cannot be successful without collaboration between local communities, wildlife managers and individuals," said CPW Grant Manager Travis Long in a statement. "We are excited about this program because interest from the public is high, with many communities taking advantage of the opportunities this funding provides and implementing projects to help reduce conflicts with bears."

The deadline to apply for grants is May 24. 

Additional Information from Colorado Parks & Wildlife:

Eligible Projects
The Human-Bear Conflict Reduction Community Grant Program aims to reduce conflicts between local communities and black bears. Characteristics of projects that help meet this goal include:

·         Reducing the availability of attractants to black bears in communities experiencing human-bear conflict or disincentivizing black bears from entering areas of high conflict (i.e. hazing).

·         Have local community support or detailed plans to build local support.

·         Are cost-effective investments that have the potential to last beyond the funding time frame (such as bear proof trash cans).

·         Utilize proven techniques for preventing conflict or explore an innovation with a promise to prevent conflict.

How to Apply

Applications are available on CPW's website and are due by May 24, 2024, at 5 p.m. For questions or application assistance, please contact CPW Grant Manager Travis Long at Successful grant recipients will be announced in July 2024.

Click here to view the 2023 grant recipients and see what projects were selected during the competitive grant process.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.