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Idaho Fish and Game brings biologists to Hailey for talk on bears

A black bear digs through a trash bin.
Idaho Fish and Game
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Idaho Fish and Game

A presentation Friday evening in Hailey will share research on black bears and grizzly bears in Idaho.

Jeremy Nicholson, a regional wildlife biologist with Idaho Fish and Game in Idaho Falls, will be the main speaker. He studies grizzly bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, especially around Island Park.

A flier for a seminar on bears in Hailey on June 3.
Idaho Fish and Game

The agency recently killed five grizzly bears in that area after they had gotten accustomed to human food.

Sierra Robatcek, a regional wildlife biologist in the Magic Valley region, will talk about black bears in the Wood River Valley.

Springtime is when Idaho Department of Fish and Game officials usually start to hear reports of black bears making their way into mountain communities and sometimes neighborhoods.

“We all love our Idaho wildlife and we want to make sure that wildlife stays wild, people stay safe, and one of the ways we do that is through education,” said Terry Thompson, the regional communications manager with Fish and Game.

The event at 6:30 p.m. at the College of Southern Idaho’s Hailey campus is co-sponsored by the Wood River Valley Wildlife Smart Communities Coalition. The group, comprised of land agencies, local governments and non-profits, formed in 2020 in response to an uptick in mountain lions sightings and attacks on pets within Blaine County communities.

Black bears are commonly found in the valley, too, digging through trash. Fish and Game started getting reports of black bears near Hailey in May this year, which Thompson said is early.

“[People] put their garbage cans out the night before garbage pick up, bears get into it, and then what happens is you condition these bears to start looking for a garbage can because they know there’s going to be a food reward there,” he said.

The presentations Friday will give community members ideas for how to take care of their properties to try to minimize conflicts with wildlife.

Find reporter Rachel Cohen on Twitter @racheld_cohen 

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