Back in 1987 a small, dedicated group of agency bear managers, educators and wildlife specialists met at Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories to focus on finding ways to better understand and manage conflicts between people and bears. That historic gathering was the beginning of a new path forward for both species.
Managers and others from all over North America interested in understanding and reducing conflicts soon made attending these workshops a priority. They knew their time and money would be well-spent and they would go home with lots of useful, actionable information, new ideas and an invaluable network of people all working to find solutions.
Subsequent workshops in Canmore, Alberta (1997 and 2009), Missoula, Montana (2012) and Gatlinburg, Tennessee (2018) all made important contributions and helped advance the field of conflict prevention and management.
One of the many advances was a seemingly small but actually very important step forward taken for the fourth gathering in Missoula, Montana in 2012, when the Bear-Human Conflicts Workshop was renamed the Human-Bear Conflicts Workshop. Because professionals everywhere saw the need to recognize one very important truth: it’s people who cause most conflicts with bears. And it is up to people to find solutions.
The workshop’s long history of forward thinking and collaborative discovery continues when the Nevada Department of Wildlife and the Nevada Chapter of The Wildlife Society co-host the 6th International Human-Bear Conflicts Workshop at scenic Lake Tahoe on October 4-7, 2021.