As grizzly bears disperse across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem during the summer, it’s important to host bear safety refreshers throughout the ecosystem. The Greater Yellowstone Coalition’s Idaho field office teamed up with Idaho Fish and Game, Mountain Bike the Tetons, and Teton Valley Trails and Pathways to bring the mechanical bear “Charger” back to Teton Valley.
The Idaho Sportsmen Show attracts thousands of guides, outfitters, and sportsmen of all kinds from across the Pacific Northwest to the Expo Idaho center in Boise each year. Among this year’s crowds, demos, and displays, you could find GYC and Idaho Fish and Game teaming up to bring a fun and educational experience to event attendees: the Idaho Fish and Game bear education trailer and the United State Forest Service’s mechanical bear – the Charger!
As much as I look forward to hitting my beloved backcountry runs, I know this is also a really hard time for wintering wildlife like bighorn sheep, deer, elk, and moose. Popular canyon spots on the west side of the Tetons (including Fox, Darby, and Teton Canyon) are important areas for wintering wildlife and will be closing to winter recreation on Thanksgiving – except for travel on designated routes. And I’m okay with that, because there are lots of other places I can ski.
Every summer, Teton Valley Trails and Pathways hosts the WYDAHO Rendezvous Teton Bike Festival, an annual fundraising event that brings hundreds of mountain bikers to Teton Valley. We thought this would be a great opportunity to provide our mountain biking friends with a fun and educational experience that not only protects them, but also our local grizzly bears: The mechanical charging bear we call the Charger!