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The Voice of the

Commonwealth's Counties

Survey Assistance Needed for Community Black Bear Project Funding

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) and Clemson University invite you to take a quick survey regarding Virginia’s BearWise Cost-Share Program.  Whether your community has received funding from this program or not, your perspective on this program and human-bear interactions in your locality can greatly help improve DWR’s assistance to your community.

To learn more about the program and help assist its future applications, please take the survey HERE.

The American black bear population has made a remarkable recovery across the Commonwealth of Virginia.  Black bears presently occur in 92 of Virginia’s 95 counties. This can pose challenges for the public in learning to coexist with their new neighbors.

Local governments can help residents reduce or mitigate human-bear interactions in many ways.  For instance, each year, the Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources (DWR) allocates funding to assist towns, cities, and counties of the Commonwealth to reduce human-black bear conflicts.  Proposed projects aim to secure or remove food sources, such as garbage, with equipment maintained in working order by the applicant for a specified time period.  This non-grant funding is made available as a cost-share; all applicants are required to contribute financially, in-kind, or in combination, for a 30% match of the project cost.

For more information on the BearWise Community Cost-Share Program, please visit DWR’s BearWise website.

If you have any questions about this survey or the BearWise Program, please contact DWR’s Seth Thompson at

VACo Contact: Chris McDonald, Esq.

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