Monday, April 28, 2008

Bear Awareness Day, Saturday May, 17th, 9am to 3pm

In celebration of Washington State Bear Awareness Week the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project (GBOP) will sponsor a Bear Awareness Day. This event will be hosted by the North Cascades Basecamp in Mazama.

Planned activities include:
• What's in your woods?, using a remote camera - Dennis Ryan.
• Exploring bear sign, tracking and ID - Gabe Spence.
• Bear habitat, biology and behavior - Scott Fitkin, WDFW.
• Review the status of grizzly bear recovery in the North Cascades.

Please bring your own bag lunch and wear clothes appropriate for short walks in the woods. Information about bear safety and being bear smart around your home will be available. There will be a demonstration of the effectiveness of bear pepper spray.

Join us for all or part of the day. Contact Dennis Ryan at or (509) 923-2464 if you have any questions or need directions. RSVP appreciated.

The North Cascades Basecamp is offering a discount for those wishing to stay the night or weekend.

Contact Josh Kerns:
North Cascades Basecamp & Lodging
255 Lost River Road, Mazama, WA 98833

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Woodland Park Zoo Bear event

The Woodland Park Zoo celebrated the fourth annual Bear Affair day on Saturday , April 5th. The day began with Zoo staff hosting a behind the scenes tour to a group of 40 folks invited by GBOP to get an opportunity to meet the 950 pound grizzly brothers, Denali and Keema, up close and personal. The bears have a profound impression on everyone they meet. The group was also treated to a tour and overview of the wolf compound.

Later that morning an unsafe campsite was setup in their compound. The bears enthusiaticly demostrated what bears do to a camp left unattended and full of food. Its amazing to watch the systematic search for items hidden in tents, sleeping bags and coolers. This year a raft was placed in their swimming area. Inside was a tasty salmon.

In the afternoon items which might atteact bears to your home were placed in their compound. Included were a greasy grill, bird food feeder and two types of garbage containers. This photo says it all. The normal garbage container was destroyed in less than 30 seconds. However, the bear resistant garbage container withstood repeated assaults by both bears and remained intact. If you live in bear country, this is definitely the type of container you need. This container is a product of UnBearable Bins.

The crowd loved the demonstration almost as much as the bears loved putting on a show. Afterward they were ready for a nap.

A news crew from King 5 TV was on hand to cover the event. They ran a segment on the evening news which highlighted the need to avoid attracting bears and creating a conflict scenerio. The segment included the bear which closed the Puyallup park for a weekend. You can view the on air segment at the KING 5 website. Harriet Allen, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, gave two talks on wolf issues faced by the state during the day. All the events were attended by large crowds.

Many thanks to the Zoo staff for the flawless execution of an eventful day.