Free workshop will educate public on effective bear deterrent
BILLINGS – Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks, in partnership with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is hosting an electric fence workshop in Red Lodge on Aug. 19. The workshop will be held at the Roosevelt Center, located at 519 S. Broadway Ave., from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and is free to attend.
Properly designed electric fences are effective at protecting various attractants from bears of both species. Vulnerable livestock (chicken, goats and sheep), beehives, gardens, fruit trees and barbeque grills are among the many common attractants that can be secured with electric fencing.
Participants in this workshop will learn how to build effective electric fences and how these can be used on their own properties. Livestock electric fences are typically different designs than bear-deterring electric fences. Area livestock owners, landowners, ranchers and farmers are encouraged to attend, especially those that have observed bears on their properties. Those attending the workshop will have the opportunity to win a set of fence-building equipment.
Grizzly bears in all lower 48 states are federally protected under the Endangered Species Act. Though the USFWS has ultimate authority on the management of grizzly bears, multiple agencies, including FWP, work collaboratively to manage the species.
For those not able to attend the workshop but are interested in electric fencing as bear deterrents, contact Daniel McHugh at 406-850-1131 or visit: fwp.mt.gov/binaries/content/assets/fwp/conservation/wildlife-reports/bears/mfwp_electric-fencing-guide_v4.0.pdf.
For more information on living with bears, visit: fwp.mt.gov/conservation/wildlife-management/bear/be-bear-aware/living-bear-country.