CONFLICT PREVENTION PROJECT:

Corvallis High School

A student-led effort to increase sanitation and bear awareness in the Bitterroot Valley.

Photo by Patti Sowka of grizzly trying to open bear-proof garbage container
Panorama of snow-capped Bitterroot Mountains

Corvallis High School PROJECT BRIEF

Prime habitat that hasn’t hosted a resident grizzly population in many decades, the sprawling Selway-Bitterroot Ecosystem of central Idaho has the potential to unite isolated bears from points north (Cabinet-Yaak, Selkirk and Northern Continental Divide ecosystems) and south (Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem). To reach the Selway-Bitterroot from the NCDE, wildlife must cross Montana’s Bitterroot Valley, a new hotspot for grizzly coexistence.

One pathway into the Bitterroot goes through the Sapphire Mountains, and the first community a bear leaving the Sapphires might well hit is Corvallis, Montana. That’s why we’re thrilled to support a student-led effort by Corvallis High School to install and maintain a bear-proof garbage enclosure at the school. The project will also feature educational signage and events to bring fellow students up to speed on the importance of bear awareness in the Bitterroot. Way to go, Blue Devils!

Corvallis High School

  • Student-led effort to improve bear-proof sanitation and bear awareness
  • Community part of wildlife corridor between Sapphire and Bitterroot mountains
  • Project will install bear-proof garbage container and educational signage
  • Improved connectivity to Bitterroots could link Glacier and Yellowstone-area bears