Proposed legislation in the Senate aims to reduce conflict between humans and predatory wildlife, with a $100,000 cash prize.
Wyoming Senator John Barrasso introduced the bill. The $100,000 Theodore Roosevelt Genius Prize would be awarded to the winner of an annual competition. The goal is to develop new or better nonlethal methods of reducing human-predator conflicts.
Ann Bryant heads up the BEAR League, a volunteer organization that works to keep bears safe in their natural habitats. She says bear spray works, but it's not enough.
"We need to find something that would actually be a bear repellent," she said. "What the bear spray is, it's only effective when you spray it and it's airborne. But the minute it lands, like ten minutes later, it becomes food and then it attracts the bears."
The bill would create a new advisory board, made up of at least nine people appointed by Interior Secretary David Bernhardt. The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation would administer the competition.
This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUER in Salt Lake City, KUNR in Nevada, and KRCC and KUNC in Colorado.
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