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Grand Teton National Park Report

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Two years after initiating the Be Bear Aware program, management at Grand Teton National Park (GRTE) engaged the Wyoming Survey & Analysis Center (WYSAC) at the University of Wyoming to complete an evaluation of the public information and education component of the program. The focus of this program is to change visitor behavior (e.g., engaging in proper food storage, responsible recreation) through education. The desired outcome is to minimize the probability of human-bear encounters and the potential for conflict in park with thriving black bear and grizzly bear populations. To evaluate the efficacy of the program, WYSAC researchers collected information on the visibility of Be Bear Award signs, access to and use of Be Bear Aware information, visitor knowledge of GRTE’s food storage policy, and recreating safely while in bear country. WYSAC researchers then developed a questionnaire and interviewed a randomized stratified sample of 634 park visitors during the summer of 2010. The results of this study should help park managers identify aspects of the Be Bear Aware program that are working and those that can be improved upon.