Lauren Backstrom

NFPA Journal looks at what garbage-eating bears can teach us about wildfire management

Blog Post created by Lauren Backstrom Employee on May 21, 2012

BearsIn the May/June issue of NFPA Journal, Molly Mowery writes an article titled, "Life in the Wilderness City."  She recently attended the annual Rocky Mountain Land Use Institute Conference in Denver, where she participated in a panel discussion of wildfire hazards and the role of regulations. This year’s theme, “The Wilderness City,” was of immense interest to Molly, so she was able to capture details on topics ranging from open space management to the latest updates on climate change. The sessions prompted her to reflect on seemingly unrelated, yet similar, challenges faced by other environmental management professions and on potential lessons that can be applied in our wildfire advocacy work.

Take wildlife, for example. In Colorado, Boulder County receives more than 100 calls per year to respond to potentially troublesome bears and mountain lions. Although wildlife specialists have developed a number of studies and strategies to address the issue, these wildlife–human interactions continue, mainly due to trash that attracts the animals. About one animal per year has to be killed because it has become accustomed to humans and poses a safety threat.

This topic can stir up passionate public debate about our priorities, our preferences, and our neighbors. But what does it have to do with wildfire? Find out by reading the full article!