BOULDER, Colo. — Wildlife is important to Brenda Lee. She’s developed a passion for advocating for bears in the Boulder area, after seeing so many encounters since she’s lived there. She started the Boulder Bear Coalition nearly ten years ago.
“I just started working with the city and state officials to understand why the bears were here in town, and how they were being managed,” Lee said.
After several bear sightings in the area this week, Lee believes this is only the beginning.
“I think we’re gonna see more bears in town, not less, over the next month because they’re going to take more risk,” Lee said.
Lee says it all comes down to food. Bears can eat about 20,000 calories per day ahead of hibernation.
“So they can stay up in the mountains and eat plums and wild food, but it’s gonna take a lot longer,” Lee said. “We’re basically rolling out a red carpet for them, and if they didn’t have a food source here, they wouldn’t be here.”
Her organization started collecting footage of bears rummaging through trash, and even worked with the city to require bear-resistant trash barrels in certain areas of Boulder.
“It’s really a community responsibility to look at why the bears are here, and what we’re doing as a community to attract the bears,” Lee said.
They even have an app to report areas where bears are rummaging for food, in hopes to hold people accountable, and give bears less of a reason to come to Boulder neighborhoods.