Electrifying Coexistence Success

Can you feel the buzz?! Defenders of Wildlife’s Electric Fence Incentive Program is entering its 8th consecutive year. This program has been wildly popular with landowners over the years, successfully installing over 300 electric fences.

When bears find foods like garbage, fruit trees and small livestock, it often results in a conflict situation where they have to be removed by management agencies or sometimes killed by landowners. By preventing such conflicts, we are benefiting both people and bears. Properly installed bear-resistant electric fencing is a simple and effective way to do just that. The Electric Fence Incentive Program reimburses 50 percent of the cost of an electric fence (up to $500) for securing grizzly bear attractants, such as chickens, garbage, bees, gardens, fruit trees, and other livestock in eligible counties in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming. As bears emerge from their dens each spring, they find themselves roaming into valley bottoms looking for easily accessible food resources. Many of those natural foods are found on private lands adjacent to human generated attractants we don’t want them accessing. Electric fencing is a simple and effective way to keep bears out of trouble in your backyard all year long. This kind of tough love is saving bears while protecting property and small livestock. It’s a win-win situation for bears and landowners.

Grizzly bears are listed as “threatened” in the continental United States by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. By working with landowners and livestock producers to prevent bear-human conflicts on private lands across each of the recovery ecosystems, Defenders continues to aid in grizzly bear recovery and improve tolerance for bears on the landscape.

For more information about installing fencing, check out this video: