Keeping Black Bears wild in the Great Smoky Mountains

Keeping Black Bears wild in the Great Smoky Mountains

Our 4% donations helped the efforts of the Great Smoky Mountains BearWise Community Taskforce to keep Black Bears wild.

Since bears are very adaptable and have adjusted well to urbanization around GSMNP, it is critical that communities and their leadership recognize the importance of coexisting with bears in a manner that reduces human–bear conflicts—ultimately resulting in a safer environment for residents, visitors and bears.

With this in mind, a group of professional wildlife managers, scientists, regional business leaders, nonprofit organizations, hunters and other engaged citizens has formed a task force to discuss the best ways to minimize the potential of human–bear conflicts in Great Smoky Mountains National Park and its gateway communities.

The Smoky Mountains BearWise Community Taskforce held its first meeting in November 2019. The group fosters partnerships to increase education about human behavior’s negative effects on black bear behavior and promote BearWise Safety for residents of gateway communities and the 12 million+ annual park visitors.

Wild Tribute is proud to support Great Smoky Mountains Association in this initiative and many other important educational and research programs in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you are interested in getting involved with the BearWise Community Taskforce, please contact Dan Gibbs at Dan.Gibbs@tn.gov or Bill Stiver at bill_stiver@nps.gov.

Great Smoky Mountains Association is a nonprofit cooperating association, and as such is one of the National Park Service’s oldest and most enduring partnerships. The primary purpose of GSMA is to support the scientific, historical and interpretive activities of Great Smoky Mountains National Park by providing educational products and services to park visitors.