Bear Smart Durango

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A nonprofit fundraiser supporting

Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado
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We help both residents and bears be safe with proven education, prevention and advocacy work.


raised by 77 people

$15,000 goal

Celebrating our 20th year, Bear Smart Durango has worked hard addressing the root causes of human and bear conflict in our community - by addressing the behavior of people. Our ultimate goal remains: making our community safe for both people and bears.

Humans are a part of human and bear conflict.

That should be obvious, but goes largely ignored. We believe our community can reduce human-bear conflict by fostering a better understanding of black bears and by reducing the amount of human foods that attract bears and put both bears and people in harms' way in the first place. 

To do that takes resources. 

In the last two years, Bear Smart Durango has brought nearly $300,000 to our community in Colorado Parks and Wildlife funds to better mitigate human-bear conflict. These funds allow La Plata County Animal Protection to hire a Bear Resource Officer and The Good Food Collective to add additional fruit gleaning staff, and provide much-needed infrastructure including:

        •  500 bear-resistant trash cans in the City of Durango

        •  400 bear-resistant trash cans for county residents and Southern Ute Tribe

        •  37 all-metal bear-resistant trash cans for schools, Vallecito, Durango and the Tribe

        •  40 all-metal food storage lockers for area USFS campgrounds

        •  Mitigation tools to assist residents experiencing human-bear conflict

        •  Materials to install 60 electric fences for chickens, beehives, and more

In 2023 we launched the La Plata County Bear Hotline at 970-247-BEAR (2327), allowing residents to report bear activity, bears accessing trash and obtain resources to reduce conflict. Give it a ring!

Also in 2023, with our electric fencing program, we assisted Table to Farm Compost in becoming the first and only bear-proof compost facility in Colorado. Pretty cool, huh?

How You Can Help!

Unfortunately, Bear Smart Durango received $0 in direct funding in either of these grants. We thank those that have supported us already - and appreciate any assistance in helping us deliver vital resources to our area by meeting our campaign goal.



Help us protect our amazing wild neighbors - and keep our community safe for both people and bears. Thank you!

This fundraiser supports

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Community Foundation Serving Southwest Colorado

Organized By Bryan Peterson

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