Who We Are

Bryan Peterson became involved in human and wildlife issues in 2000 while serving on a wildlife advisory board for La Plata County Government. He has been staff and director since its inception and runs numerous projects and programs. He was honored in being selected as one of three finalists for the Durango Chamber of Commerce’s “Volunteer of the Year” award in 2009.

He has attended regional and international bear conferences in Montana, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, Nevada and British Columbia where he has met and shared ideas with the best bear experts in the world. In 2011, he assisted on a non-invasive black and grizzly bear study in Kobuk Valley National Park in NW Alaska for the National Park Service and returned again in 2014 to help provide bear outreach to native villages. He completed the DOI/USFS Interagency A-100 Basic Aviation Safety Course in 2014.

He was a freelance illustrator for 20-plus years and holds a BFA in advertising design from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.


Erin Bohm taught in backcountry classrooms for 23 years, from the arctic circle to New Zealand’s southern island. After receiving her B.A in Cultural Anthropology & Environmental Studies, from the University of Victoria, she began guiding people on travels throughout the bear country of North America. In 2011 she transitioned into “front country” classrooms when she began managing school garden classrooms & designing garden education curriculum in Mancos, Colorado. She continues to advocate for wild creatures, places and experiences by working as an educator and experiential education consultant in Southwest Colorado.



Sandhya Tillotson, Sagebrush, LTD.

Tiffany Brodersen, Mountaintop Messaging, LLC

Cindy Lawrence

There are chapters on Bear Smart Durango in two books, Living With Bears: A Practical Guide to Bear Country,” by Linda Masterson and Great Colorado Bear Stories,” by Laura Pritchett, both highlighting the efforts of the organization.

There are countless incredibly smart and creative bear people that Bear Smart Durango would not be able to function without. Some advisors that Bear Smart Durango relies on for bear behavior and human-bear conflict issues include, but by no means are limited to:

  • Diana Doan-Crider, Bear Specialist Group Member, International Bear Association
  • Mark Ruby, Bear Ranger, Swan Valley Bear Resources
  • Sylvia Dolson, Get Bear Smart Society
  • John Hechtel, Retired Alaska Fish and Game bear specialist
  • Jerry Apker, Statewide Carnivore Manager, Colorado Parks and Wildlife
  • Andrew Tri, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
  • David Petersen, Author, Naturalist, Woodsman
  • Carl Lackey, Nevada Department of Wildlife
  • Heather Reich, Nevada Department of Wildlife
  • Patti Sowka, Director, Living with Wildlife Foundation
  • Lori Homstol, Wildlife Biologist, Wind River Bear Institute
  • Tina White, Town of Snowmass Village Animal Services
  • Val Matheson, City of Boulder
  • Gillian Sanders, Grizzly Bear Solutions
  • Chuck Bartlebaugh, Center for Wildlife Information
  • Sharon Baruch-Mordo, Wildlife Biologist
  • KayCe Chadborn, Agritek Fence
  • Tim Manley, Grizzly Bear Specialist, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
  • Russ Talmo, Defenders of Wildlife, Electric Fencing Technician
  • Erin Edge, Director, Defenders of Wildlife – Rocky Mountain Region
  • Mike Madel, Grizzly Bear Specialist, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks
  • Kim Annis, Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks