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Living in Harmony With Bears with Lori Howell Thompson and Toogee Sielsch

Most black bears in the wild will avoid people unless a person gets between a mama bear and her cubs or if the bear feels threatened somehow. It seems over the past couple of decades at least the black bears in South Lake Tahoe, CA are not as afraid of humans as they should. They have learned that humans throw away a lot of food scraps from their homes and businesses. The scraps are placed in easily accessible garbage bins. Some bears have also learned to open windows and doors. This can definitely be a problem for both the bear and the human it may encounter.

This episode of BeProvided Conservation Radio discusses the urbanization of black bears in the South Lake Tahoe area. My guests are, Lori Howell Thompson author of the newly published book, Living in Harmony with the Wildlife in Lake Tahoe and Toogee Sielsch, black bear expert in Lake Tahoe.

Here is the audio, just click play to hear the interview!

Their new book is a great resource for everyone living in and visiting gLake Tahoe. It is educational as it teaches us why these bears became so urbanized and offers tips o now people and bears can safely coexist with each other without harm to human or bear.

You can buy a copy of the book, Living in Harmony with the Wildlife of Lake Tahoe at Lori's website, You can learn more about Toogee and follow his work on Instagram and Facebook under the name Tahoe Toogee.

As always, thank you again for listening. Enjoy the episode. If you like what you hear and find it informative and useful, please share and/or leave a comment to let us know how we are doing.

Toogee assessing a black bear denning under a home

Large black bear denning under a home in Lake Tahoe
Lori Howell Thompson at a book signing

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Feb 03, 2023

From Randy Sparks:

Why doesn't Tahoe area have a bear unit like Yosemite? In Yosemite many bears are collared and all the bears are monitored, taken care of and not habituated to humans.

Feb 03, 2023
Replying to

From Toogee to Randy;

CA Dept of Fish and Wildlife last year created a human/wildlife conflict group with 5 of those biologists being specifically focused on the CA side of Tahoe Basin, and just over two years ago they created the "Trap, Tag, and Haze" program collecting DNA, tagging, and sometimes collaring. These programs are more extensive than what goes on in Yosemite. The other factor is unlike Yosemite, The Lake Tahoe Basin is NOT a national park. Not too mention the comparison between Yosemite and an urban environment like South Lake Tahoe is somewhat apples and oranges. Bottom line is as a community we all need to be on board to mitigate human/bear conflict issues.

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