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The environment desk at Aspen Public Radio covers issues in the Roaring Fork Valley and throughout the state of Colorado including water use and quality, impact of recreation, population growth and oil and gas development. APR’s Environment Reporter is Elizabeth Stewart-Severy.

Bears are back: Officials hope for more awareness

Colorado Parks and Wildlife

There have been several reports of bear activity near Aspen early this spring. Officials with Colorado Parks and Wildlife (CPW) want humans to step up their bear awareness.



CPW district ranger Kurtis Tesch said the bears spotted near town likely are males who are not yet very hungry. But the habits they — and the humans they encounter — develop now will set the tone for the rest of the summer. So Tesch and others with CPW are encouraging people to contain garbage, move bird feeders out of reach and lock windows and doors.

“The same things apply now that apply in the middle of summer, because if they learn the behavior now, it can continue throughout the whole entire summer,” Tesch said.


Last year, CPW put down 19 bears in the upper Roaring Fork Valley. Tesch said he’d like to see that number drop.

In addition to bear awareness, Tesch said it’s critical, in the early spring, to keep pets on leashes and avoid closed trails to protect elk and deer during calving season.


Aspen native Elizabeth Stewart-Severy is excited to be making a return to both the Red Brick, where she attended kindergarten, and the field of journalism. She has spent her entire life playing in the mountains and rivers around Aspen, and is thrilled to be reporting about all things environmental in this special place. She attended the University of Colorado with a Boettcher Scholarship, and graduated as the top student from the School of Journalism in 2006. Her lifelong love of hockey lead to a stint working for the Colorado Avalanche, and she still plays in local leagues and coaches the Aspen Junior Hockey U-19 girls.
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