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For Parks, Forests & Campgrounds

Educating, Then Motivating Travelers & Visitors

The job of educating the recreating public is never done. The cast of characters is constantly changing. Often when people leave home, their brains go on vacation too. Finding ways to communicate that get through to people is a never-ending challenge.

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"I love the fast sound-bite style that concisely captures some complex issues. It is an excellent book. I'm recommending it be carried at all our visitor centers and other national forests that have bears."
Carrie Sekerak, Wildlife Biologist, Ocala National Forest – Florida

Food-Conditioned Bears

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“Managing bears would be easy. All you’d have to do is keep out all the people.”
- Bill Stiver, Supervisory Biologist, Great Smoky Mountains National Park

With more than nine million visitors each year, Great Smoky Mountains is America’s most-visited National Park. The park is such great bear habitat is has one of the highest bear densities in North America. Tons of food and garbage and a culture where watching the bears at the picnic grounds was the evening’s entertainment created chronic problems for bears. Great Smoky Mountains slowly changed everything from the hours the maintenance crew works to fire pits, trail shelters and food storage options to protocols for dealing with food-conditioned bears, and today the park’s visitors and the parks bears are for the most part peacefully coexisting. When there are problems, they’re used to educate and motivate change.

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Completely updated and expanded

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At-A-Glance

  • Understanding bears and bear behavior
  • Managing bear jams
  • Ensuring the safety of people and bears
  • Reducing garbage problems
  • Bear management tactics and options
  • Practical examples and proven tactics from parks all over North America
  • Safe hiking and recreating
  • Camping, backpacking and fishing
  • Proper food storage and site selection
  • Guidelines for frontcountry campers
  • Bear deterrents
  • Bear smart viewing and photography
  • Driving bear aware

Put the Book to Work

  • Use in staff training
  • Use as a reference tool for people who deal with the public
  • Give copies to volunteers
  • Give to campground operators and hosts
  • Recommend to visitor center gift shops and book stores
  • Provide to PIOs for reference

Case Studies

Living with Bears Handbook features nine in-depth case histories, along with advice from experts all over North America and and many examples of how real people and communities are learning to respect, appreciate and coexist with bears.

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