Accomplishments

  • For the past decade SMBW has had a good working relationship with the New Mexico Game & Fish, Cibola National Forest Service and Bernalillo County. In 2001, founder Jan Hayes was invited to serve on the NMG&F Bear Advisory Committee.
  • Coordinated “Living with Bear” presentations with NMG&F to present to east mountain residents.
  • Requested the Cibola Nat. Forest to bear-proof all garbage containers in all Sandia and Manzano mountain picnic areas. Forest Service biologist Beverly DeGruyter was instrumental in coordination and completion of all bear proofing in the Cibola National Forest in 2002-2003. Formed a “Wildlife Steward Program” consisting of training a wildlife steward/stewards for each east mountain homeowner’s development or area. The numbers vary at around 40-50 wildlife stewards.
  • 5 SMBW members composed a “Living with Wildlife” book for Wildlife stewards and interested citizens. The Cibola Forest Service tells us that they use this book constantly and plan to put it on their web site nationally. The book lists every New Mexico mountain mammal, it’s biology and if a problem arises, benign solutions.
  • We designed and printed some 2,000 “Living with Bear” flyers and asked one the garbage companies to put the flyers in their garbage bills.
  • Every summer, SMBW has handed out our own brochures, NMG&F brochures, Be Bear Aware newspapers at post offices, churches, and all east mountain businesses, etc.
  • SMBW has a good rapport with reporters from all of the three area newspapers and TV stations. And has given TV and radio interviews and written many articles on how to co-exist with bears.
  • We have made a difference for bears statewide by attending all NMG&F Commission meetings pertaining to bear for the past 13 years. We use good solid bear biology from the NMG&F bear study. We also use bear biologists Al LeCount’s and Don Jones’ expertise and advice to try to dissuade NMG&F Commissioners from making poor biological decisions for New Mexico’s bears.
  • In 2002 BearWatch with the help of the Turner Foundation received $9,000 to match $12,000 from Bernalillo County to bear-proof all food related dumpsters in the East Mountains. Rep. Ron Godbey was instrumental in this pursuit. This project failed because of the lack of county/state enforcement, Waste Management would not comply.
  • In 2003, BearWatch, with the help of State Rep. Ron Godbey and NMG&F received N.M. Legislative approval for a bill to institute bear-proofing in all of New Mexico’s communities within bear territory. Governor Richardson signed the bill into law.
  • In 2003, the NMG&F Commission passed New Mexico’s first ever comprehensive bear management
  • In 2004 BW coordinated with Cibola National Forest and Center for Wildlife Information to print and distribute thousands of full-color ‘Be Bear Aware’ newspapers to East Mountain residents.
  • In 2004, BW coordinated with Bernalillo County and NMG&F to mail 26,000 ‘Keep Bears Alive and You Safe’ brochures to Sandia and Manzano Mountain residents
  • In 2004, BW coordinated with NMG&F, Cibola Nat. Forest, and Bernalillo County to have a successful ‘Sandia Mountain Bear Fair’.
  • NMG&F Commissioners vote to continue 2003 Bear Management/hunt
  • In 2005 Governor Richardson stops spring bear hunt
  • NMG&F Bear Management stays intact
  • In 2006, BW helps NMG&F host 9th Western Black Bear Workshop in Raton, New Mexico
  • BW coordinating with NMG&F Lief Ahlm, City of Raton, Thaw Foundation, Messengers of Healing Winds to bear-proof Raton, NM. (no result as yet)
  • In 2006, BW distributed thousands of ‘Be Bear Aware’ newspapers in East Mountains businesses, etc. during the summer. BW also purchased 4 months of weekly newspaper ads ‘How to Co-exist with Bears’. BW monthly e-mailed E.M. Homeowner Presidents/residents with pertinent bear information. BW distributed ‘Be Bear Aware’ newsletters to all E.M. students before summer vacation. All of these activities resulted in a very small number of bear complaint calls to NMG&F.
  • In 2006 NMG&F Commission vote to keep bear hunt/management as is, through 2008.
  • BW co-ordinates with Wildlife West Nature Park for a July ‘Bear Fair’.
  • In 2007 BW starts a statewide ‘How to Co-exist with Bears’ weekly newspaper Ad campaign for June, July, August for 2007, 2008, 2009 in New Mexico’s bear country.
  • BW published and mailed out its annual newsletter in February.
  • BW designed and purchased 'Co-existing with Bears' KOB radio ads and weekly newspaper ads in 15 'Bear Country' newspapers for June, July and August.
  • BW's Jan Hayes gave a interview with Art Ortega's Community Outreach Radio Program on 'Living with Bears’ that was heard on different radio stations some 8 times.
  • BW's Jan Hayes met with Dave Simon of NM State Parks encouraging them to bearproof the remaining state parks that need bearproofing.
  • BW is in the process of meeting with and financially helping 4 NM Summer Camps by giving them $500 each to encourage them to bearproof. These camps have been responsible for many bears being destroyed or relocated over past decades. NMG&F and the Forest Service have been very supportive of BW in this endeavor.
  • BW's Jan Hayes has given several 'Co-existing with Bears' programs so far this year and has several more on her calendar.
  • BW is in discussions with Bernalillo County in regard to bearproofing all commercial dumpsters in the East Mountains and establishing an ordinance.
  • BearWatch coordinated with Animal Protection of NM to receive $10,000 state funding for Ruidoso, NM for bearproofing.
  • BearWatch coordinated with NMG&F to contact towns to participate in a $70,000 federal matching grant to purchase bearproof dumpsters. Angel Fire, Red River and Ruidoso have signed onto this program.
  • BW members along with summer hires from the Cibola National Forest and New Mexico Game and Fish painted 'Feed a Bear, Kill a Bear...Don't Leave Food Unattended' stencils on all picnic tables, bathroom doors and bearproof garbage containers in Cibola's Sandia Mountain Picnic areas.
  • BW recently distributed thousands of Cibola Forest Service/BearWatch ' Be Bear Beware' Newspapers with bear and cougar information to EM businesses, library, community centers, banks, etc.
  • BW and Wildlife West coordinated to produce the 2008 Bear Fair.
  • BW's Jan Hayes will be attending future NMG&F Commission meeting pertaining to proposed changes in the 2009-11 bear hunt.
  • BW has requested a meeting with NMG&F's Depredation officers to discuss bear depredation issues.