Seeing black bears is not something new for residents of Vermont who spend time outdoors. Spotting the dark silhouette of one of New England’s largest animals is exciting. However,more and more bear sightings are occurring not in the wild but in our neighborhoods and backyards. When bears and humans cross paths, and bears venture into our neighborhoods, problems arise and unfortunately, bears often pay the ultimate price for these interactions.
VINS is pleased to host Forrest Hammond from VT Fish and Wildlife Department for a discussion on our new backyard visitors: bears. We will explore why bears are coming into human populated areas in the first place and dig into the various problems that can stem from these encounters. Most importantly, this talk will highlight what we can do in our own neighborhoods and backyards to keep ourselves, our property, and our bears safe and minimize the negative impacts we have on wildlife.
Light refreshments will be served
Forrest M. Hammond is currently a wildlife biologist with the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and works out of the Springfield state office. He received both a B.S. n Zoology and an M.S. in Wildlife Management from the University of Wyoming where he studied the food habits and habitat use of black bears in the Salt River Range of NW Wyoming.
Forrest worked as a district wildlife biologist, a habitat biologist, and then as the grizzly bear biologist for the Wyoming Game & Fish Department before returning to his home state ofVermont. He currently serves on the Department’s Big Game Team and is instrumental in setting seasons and bag limits for deer and moose and is responsible for doing environmental reviews of residential and commercial development projects in southern Vermont. He is also the leader of the Department’s black bear program.