BearWise® was developed by state agency bear biologists who wanted to make sure that no matter where people lived, played or traveled, they got the same consistent message about coexisting with bears. Today the BearWise program is managed by a team of North American bear biologists and communications professionals and supported by the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies and the BearWise member state wildlife agencies.
The BearWise Website Is Easy to Find and Easy to Use
Bearwise.org offers a wealth of information on black bear biology and behavior as well as sections on preventing human-bear conflicts at home and outdoors, important bear safety information, helpful FAQs and tips on how neighborhoods, communities and businesses can put BearWise to work.
Our BearWise Store Is Filled with Resources
You’ll discover many free print-ready handouts and activity sheets plus items like magnets, door hangers, stickers and signage that can be ordered individually or in bulk. Check out the State Stuff category for BearWise materials for your state.
BearWise Keeps You Informed
In the BearWise article bank, you’ll find timely articles on what bears are up to and what people can do to prevent conflicts with bears. Articles may be reprinted in newsletters or community newspapers and shared on social media. Anyone interested in receiving timely information about living with bears can subscribe to BearWise emails.
Discover why today people all over North America rely on BearWise for information they can trust and resources they can use.
The BearWise® name and logos are registered trademarks of AWARE, America’s Wildlife Association for Resource Education
NPS Webinar – June 2020
Creating BearWise Community Partnerships
Creating BearWise Community Partnerships looks at the working relationship between Great Smoky Mountains National Park (GRSM) and the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA), and how it has fostered community partnerships that encourage communities surrounding GRSM to become BearWise. Hosted by the National Park Service in June 2020; presented by Bill Stiver (GRSM), Dan Gibbs (TWRA) and Linda Masterson (BearWise).
Press Release – April 2018
Black bear biologists and managers collaborate on landmark bear education program
After more than 2 years of research and development, the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) launched BearWise.org in 2018. Their mission: help people live more responsibly with black bears by providing consistent, science-based information and proven, practical ways to prevent conflicts, resolve problems, and develop BearWise communities to keep bears wild.
The BearWise® program was pioneered by bear biologists from SEAFWA’s 15 member states, where about 70,000 black bears are trying to share space with more than 124 million people. Growing populations of both bears and humans are leading to a rising number of human-bear encounters and conflicts.
The dedicated BearWise Committee, which is a part of SEAFWA’s Large Carnivore Working Group, is co-chaired by Dan Gibbs, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, and Maria Davidson, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The communications team includes Linda Masterson, author of Living with Bears Handbook.
“Bears have no idea when they cross from public to private lands or from one state to another; that’s why a regional effort to reach out to people who live, work and recreate where bears live too makes so much sense,” explained Gibbs.
The BearWise store offers a range of educational materials, including free print-ready handouts. Anyone interested in receiving timely information about living with bears can subscribe to BearWise emails. As the BearWise program continues to grow and develop, additional resources will be added to the website for bear managers and professionals as well as members of the public, including homeowner associations and municipalities.
Founding member states include Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and West Virginia.
BearWise, Helping People Live Responsibly with Black Bears
Created and Supported by State Wildlife Agencies and Bear Biologists
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