Keystone’s Bear Coexistence program works with residents, visitors, and recreationists to coexist with grizzly and black bears and reduce human-bear conflicts. Bear recovery efforts have been a great success in the Northern Rockies thus far, and bears are expanding out of core habitat. At the same time, more people are living and recreating in bear country. This combination is creating more human-bear conflicts, putting both bears and people at risk.
The Bear Coexistence program works with people to reduce conflicts in residential and backcountry settings through education and outreach, as well as providing tools such as bear spray and bear-proof garbage canisters to help people stay safe in bear country.
“Keep Calm and Carry Bear Spray”
Being informed and prepared is the best prevention for bear encounters. Preparation includes always carrying bear spray when traveling in bear country. Our “Keep Calm and Carry Bear Spray” campaign educates people about recreating in bear country and the importance of carrying bear spray, as well as how to properly use bear spray. We host and attend events where participants learn about bears, bear spray and can spray inert cans of bear spray to practice.
We work to make bear spray more accessible by partnering with local businesses to offer discounted bear spray, as well as to offer bear spray rentals. People can currently rent bear spray in Bozeman. Click here to learn more.
Bear Safety Talks
Keystone is the only organization in the area that offers bear and bear spray educational presentations. We partner with REI Bozeman, local businesses, and schools to offer bear talks about bear biology, safety, and information about bear spray.
Focus on Big Sky and Other Communities
Keystone works in Big Sky and other Greater Yellowstone communities now inhabited by grizzly bears to reduce attractants and educate people about having a bear safe community. In Big Sky, along with the Big Sky Natural Resource Council, Republic Services Municipal Waste, other NGO’s and community members, we are working on a strategic plan to reduce conflicts in the area. Last year we purchased and gave to the community of Gardiner, MT 10 bear-proof residential garbage canisters. We are planning expansion of the program into Red Lodge, West Yellowstone and up to the Greater Glacier area and the Rocky Mountain Front.