Be bear aware before heading outside

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(Courtesy photo)Above, a grizzly bear is pictured standing in sage. The Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Forest Service are teaming up to host three “Be Bear Aware” events in Priest Lake, Sandpoint, and Coeur d’Alene this spring.

The Idaho Conservation League, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Forest Service are teaming up to host three “Be Bear Aware” events in Priest Lake, Sandpoint, and Coeur d’Alene this spring.

“Be Bear Aware” events feature presentations and training by outdoor experts on such topics as how to travel safely in bear country and how to properly use bear spray as one conflict avoidance tool.

All are welcome to attend any of the events, being held each night from from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

• Sandpoint — Wednesday, April 17, Sandpoint Ranger District, 1602 Ontario St.

• Coeur d’Alene — Thursday, May 30, Idaho Department of Fish and Game, 2885 W Kathleen Ave.

• Priest Lake — Thursday, June 13, Priest Lake Library, Highway 57, Nordman.

Brian Johnson, IDFG grizzly bear information and education conservation officer, and Brett Lyndaker, USFS Idaho Panhandle National Forest wildlife biologist will share their knowledge and train event participants. Topics covered will include a brief history of grizzly bear populations and ecology, identification of grizzly vs. black bears, conflict avoidance techniques, and food storage and other attractant requirements in national forests.

Presentations will be followed by sessions where participants will have the opportunity to practice using bear spray with inert spray canisters. These participants will also be eligible to purchase Counter Assault bear spray at a discount.

These events are made possible through the support of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and will help educate and empower local residents to safely live and recreate in bear country!

Registration is free, however pre-registration is required as space is limited. To register, please sign up via these links:

• Sandpoint — bit.ly/BearAwareSandpoint

• Coeur d’Alene — bit.ly/BearAwareCDA

• Priest Lake — bit.ly/BearAwarePriestLake

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