Spring is coming... & Northwest bears are going to wake up

Feb 19, 2014
Northwest bears are going to wake up soon. Learn more at a presentation “All About Bears” on March 8.

“All About Bears” will be the feature Streamkeeper Academy event at the Adopt A Stream Foundation’s Northwest Stream Center in Snohomish County’s McCollum Park, 600 –128th St. SE, Everett, a 1 p.m. Saturday, March 8.

Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife officers Bruce Richards and Nick Jorg, who you may have seen on Animal Planet, are going to conduct a presentation about bears in Washington state.

Their assistants, who may steal the show, are:  Mishka (the veteran) and Colter (the young guy) – two Karelian bear dogs who help resolve bear/people conflicts; to learn more about these great dogs go to: http://wdfw.wa.gov/enforcement/kbd/kbd_dogs.html.

In Washington, black bears live in a diverse array of forested habitats, from coastal rainforests to the dry woodlands of the Cascades’ eastern slopes.

In general, black bears are strongly associated with forest cover, but they do occasionally use open country, such as forest clearings and the fringes of other open habitat.

Black bears are found throughout Washington state.  Also, much to the surprise of most Washingtonians, there are grizzly bears in the state that reside in the North Cascades,

According to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are between 25,000 and 30,000 black bears in the State.  As human populations encroach on black bear habitat, people and bears have greater chances of encountering each other.

Bears usually avoid people, but when bears and people come into close proximity, the bear’s strength and surprising speed can make for dangerous situations.

Occasional confrontations with bears are the result of a surprise encounter at close range.

However, most conflicts result from people living in bear country carelessly attracting bears with improperly contained garbage or pet food outside their homes.

And to most people’s surprise, they are also attracted to bird feeders.

Bears have a great sense of smell.  The average dog’s sense of smell is 100 times better than humans.  A bloodhound is 300 times better.  A bear’s sense of smell is seven times better than a bloodhound or 2,100 times better than a human.

If you are in bear country, chances are that the local bears will smell you coming their way.

Advance reservations are required by calling 425-316-8592; $5 Adopt A Stream Foundation members, $7 non-members.  For additional information go to www.streamkeeper.org.

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