In 2004 I concluded that the black bear (Ursus americanus) supplemental feeding program was an effective, nonlethal damage control tool to protect conifers during the spring in western Washington, USA (Ziegltrum 2004). Consequently, I analyzed the costs of the supplemental feeding program, which is used for about 10 years from stand age 15 to 25 and the costs of accepting bear tree damage. One Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) stand with known yield data served as a model. I assumed 15, 25, and 35% tree damage by bears in this stand at age 15 and allowed the stand to grow to 35-, 40-, and 45-year rotations. I performed present value calculations (PV) for the costs of the feeding program to determine if it was the best expenditure for the Animal Damage Control Program (ADCP) in comparison. For the sensitivity analysis, I used 5, 6, and 7% interest rates. I found that the costs of feeding bears for 2.5 months annually were always lower than the costs of tree damage by bears. Therefore, I concluded that the supplemental feeding program was a cost-effective damage control tool.
black bear damage
nonlethal damage control
supplemental black bear feeding
Washington Forest Protection Association