CPW has $1M to ease problems between humans, bears

Agency offering grants in hopes of reducing conflicts

Steamboat Pilot & Today
A black bear does everything it can to get into trashcans at a home in Routt County south of Steamboat Springs in June 2021. Bear sightings and conflicts are a common occurrence in Steamboat Springs and Routt County.
John F. Russell/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Colorado Parks and Wildlife announced Thursday, March 10, the agency is offering up to $1 million in grants for projects that reduce human and bear conflicts.

The money will be distributed through a grant process this spring and go toward approved projects that cut down on the problems.

Local governments, NGOs, homeowners associations, community groups, businesses, tribes, universities and individuals are all eligible to apply.

“This is an huge opportunity for local governments and partners to work with parks and wildlife to reduce human-bear conflicts to keep communities and property safer and better protect Colorado’s iconic black bear populations,” said Gov. Jared Polis in a statement. “I look forward to seeing positive impact from the innovative solutions that are developed through these new projects.”

Funding for the program was made available through House Bill 21-1326, which passed last year.

According to the agency, projects should have local support, be designed to prevent conflict with bears and have tangible outcomes with realistic timelines.

Local support can be demonstrated through cost sharing, in-kind contributions, letters of support, participation in public meetings, membership in local organizations and partnerships.

The funding comes as a result of escalating problems between humans and bears across Colorado’s mountain communities.

Between 2019 and 2021, Colorado Parks and Wildlife received more than 14,000 reports of sightings and conflicts with bears.

Nearly one-third of those involved trash cans and dumpsters, which will be a target area that officials say CPW will look to address when awarding grants.

Bird feeders, livestock, bears accessing open garages and other unsecured human-originated items are other persistent sources of conflict.

Applications can be downloaded online. The deadline to submit is 5 p.m. May 6.

For questions, email at or call 303-291-7313. Potential applicants can also attend a virtual informational meeting on March 24.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.