Rally for Bear Smart Durango!

The Durango City Council implemented an important first step with an emergency ordinance in early September. This revision replaces a warning being given to residents for a 1st violation in allowing bears to access trash to a $100 fine. This is a welcome revision and we thank the City of Durango, but as many of you well know – there is PLENTY yet to be done. That’s where you can help!

Thanks to the fine folks at The Payroll Department in Durango, Bear Smart received a $10,000 challenge grant.  Rather than simply matching that with an equal amount, the decision has been made to fully fund the summer into fall needs for bears in the region.

By using – the public has an easy and quick way to jump in.  The Rally goal is $20,000 – representing a two-for-one leverage from the Payroll Department grant. Supporters can pledge any amount.

Support Bear Smart Durango and its partners today to keep human foods from bears while they prepare for hibernation.  This is an immediate and serious situation.  Bear Smart Durango (BSD) in conjunction with the Durango Regional Food Recovery Hub (HUB) believes that the dramatic increase of human-bear conflict due to bears accessing human foods needs to be addressed.

Human-bear conflict impacts residents and bears alike.  Residents incur property damage in addition to concerns for public safety, while an average of 28 bears a year are killed in results of conflicts with residents – within a six-mile radius of the City of Durango, alone!

This first-of-its-kind collaboration includes Bear Smart Durango, Local First, School District 9-R, Cooking Matters, Fort Lewis College Environmental Center, The Garden Project, Colorado State University – La Plata County Extension and Healthy Community Food Systems.

                     • Corporate sponsorship will be obtained from $500 to $5,000

                     • Individual donors will also be contacted for gifts of $500 to $5,000

The total Campaign goal is $50,000 and with the Payroll Department grant topping it off for a total of $60,000.

The collaborative effort will make the following happen:

• Coordinate the gleaning of fruit and vegetables with a part-time coordinator.

• Increase access to local food for area residents and the community at large, including local business owners and entrepreneurs.

• Financially support the hiring of a part-time enforcement officer to assist with bear and trash compliance.

• Allow for assisting residents with bear deterrents such as electric fencing and loaner bear-resistant containers.




Let’s Rally for Bear Smart Durango and our partners!  Visit:



Please contact Beth Lamberson:  or 970-749-1877.









Corporate sponsors can go here.

Donate to the Fruit Gleaning Hub:



Donation via Check/Money Order

Please make checks and money orders payable to Bear Smart Durango and mail to either:

Bear Smart Durango
PO Box 2291
Durango, CO  81302

Community Foundation serving Southwest Colorado
PO Box 1673
Durango, CO 81302
Phone: 970-375-5807

Donation via Credit Card

To make a tax-deductible donation to Bear Smart Durango via credit card you may do so on the Community Foundation Serving SW Colorado website. Be sure to include a notation indicating that your contribution is for Bear Smart Durango.   View IRS Letter of Determination here.


In-Kind Donations

We welcome and greatly appreciate donations of services or funding to help us carry on our projects and programs. If you are willing to contribute towards the following please contact: Bryan Peterson, Director, Bear Smart Durango at or 970-749-4262.


Bear Smart Durango, under the fiscal sponsorship of the Community Foundation Serving SW Colorado, is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization with the Internal Revenue Service. If you require your donation to be tax-deductible, please make your contribution via the Community Foundation Serving SW Colorado. We cannot continue our efforts in reducing human-bear conflict and helping preserve the safety of both residents and bears without your help. Please consider making a donation to help people live with wildlife. If you have a specific Bear Smart Durango program in mind for your contribution, please let us know!






Banner photo of Needham Elementary classroom presentation courtesy of The Durango Herald.