From the Great Bear Foundation:
Here’s how you can help:
Volunteer to help us pick fruit to keep bears safe and out of neighborhoods. Contact our Missoula office for picking locations.
Drop off at least 40lbs of good apples or pears (no rotten or bruised fruit, but worms are ok) at Western Cider any day of the week between noon and 6 PM. You’ll receive a $5 cider certificate for every 40lbs! Your fruit will become Great Bear Community Cider! It’s wildly delicious.
Support our generous partners by drinking Western Cider! When you stop by the cidery, please thank them for their support!
When the Great Bear Community Cider is ready this winter, drink it up–Western Cider donates 10% of the proceeds to our Bears & Apples program!
About the Bears & Apples Program
Each summer and fall, bears across North America kick their eating habits into high gear to take advantage of natural and human-related food sources and prepare for their winter sleep. Remember, bears only get to eat in the spring, summer and fall, and what they eat now has to last them through the winter–sometimes supporting cubs, too.
Where humans and bears share habitat, we have to be careful not to let bears get too comfortable hanging around our homes–that can mean an unnecessary death for the bear, and sometimes harm to humans and our property.
The Great Bear Foundation works hard to eliminate bear attractants in neighborhoods by organizing volunteers to pick fruit so it doesn’t tempt bears into dangerous situations around our homes. Unwanted fruit goes to people in need, volunteers, or becomes delicious Great Bear Cider crafted by our partners at Western Cider. Try it if you’re in Missoula!
Other ways you can help
Be Bear Aware. Take some time to make sure your home and neighborhood are bear-safe zones. That means securing bear attractants–pick fruit before the bears do, put an electric fence around your orchard or chicken coop, and keep garbage inside or in a bear-resistant container.
Ask for help. If you need help with fruit in the Missoula area, call us–we’ll find volunteers to help with your fruit. Outside of the Missoula area, we can advise you on making your home bear-safe.
Start a program in your community. We are very happy to help you set up a fruit gleaning program in your community. We’ve advised other communities before.
Make your own cider. If you prefer to make your own cider, contact our Missoula office if you’d like to use our cider press. We ask that you leave the press in the same condition you found it.
Donate. Your donations fund this program. This year, we are facing serious funding challenges, and we’ve had to cut our Bears & Apples Coordinator’s hours to part-time, but this is a full-time job. Your donation can help to restore her hours, so she can work full-time to prevent the unnecessary killing of bears.