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1 April 2004 Promoting understanding: The approach of the North Cascades Grizzly Bear Outreach Project
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The North Cascades Ecosystem (NCE) in Washington State is one of 6 grizzly bear (Ursus arctos) recovery zones in the lower 48 states and is contiguous with the grizzly bear population of south central British Columbia (BC). Fewer than 20 grizzly bears are estimated to remain in the NCE. Observations and verified grizzly bear sign are rare, and public knowledge of grizzly bears is very limited. Ideally, perceptions and attitudes toward grizzly bears should be based on accurate information so residents can make well informed decisions and comments regarding grizzly bear recovery. The objective of the Grizzly Bear Outreach Project (GBOP) is to address public concerns and provide factual information about grizzly bear ecology and behavior, sanitation and safety in bear country, and policies associated with the recovery process. The GBOP strives to engage community members in a process of education that targets people living, recreating, and working in the NCE. The approach includes community perceptions analyses, one-on-one meetings, small group meetings, coalition activities, and the development and distribution of associated educational resources (e.g., brochure, fact sheets, slide show, web site). Current activities also include an evaluation of project effectiveness that consists of baseline and follow-up telephone surveys with randomly selected NCE residents, quarterly telephone interviews with key informants, and content analysis of local newspapers and government and organization communications. The GBOP was initiated in April 2002 in the northeastern NCE and expanded to the northwestern NCE in September 2003. In this paper we describe our efforts and the philosophy behind the GBOP.
Chris P. Morgan, James Davis, Tim Ford and Nan Laney "Promoting understanding: The approach of the North Cascades Grizzly Bear Outreach Project," Ursus 15(1), (1 April 2004).<0137:PUTAOT>2.0.CO;2
Received: 1 December 2002; Accepted: 1 December 2003; Published: 1 April 2004

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