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Bears of Durango

Dive headfirst into bear dens with the biologists studying how human development affects bear behavior.

In 2011 Colorado Parks and Wildlife initiated a major research effort to address increases in human-black bear conflicts. A team of wildlife researchers led by Dr. Heather Johnson has spent the past six years investigating the factors driving those increases and the effects of expanding human development on bear populations.

"If we want our native biodiversity here, if we want these large carnivores to be back on our landscapes, ultimately we're going to have to figure out, how do we coexist? How do we share a single landscape?” — Heather Johnson, PhD, Lead Wildlife Researcher.



Over four years, Bears of Durango has grown from a short film to a feature-length documentary. Accolades and awards received at every festival at which the film has played are indications that the story has great potential to impact viewers far and wide.

As the team continues to improve the film, distribute the film, and market the film, additional resources are needed to maximize the project's quality, reach, and impact. Opportunities for international television and theatrical distribution are on the horizon. The film team is actively fundraising, pursuing the widest possible release.

Mountain Studies Institute’s involvement in the project has made it possible for contributions to Bears of Durango to be tax deductible. Those interested in making a contribution are encouraged to do so by clicking the link below.

*Note* Those making contributions must reference “Bears of Durango” in the comments section of the form in order for Mountain Studies Institute to allocate those funds to the film effort.

Thank you for your continued support.