Patti Sowka has specialized in prevention of human-bear conflicts for over 13 years and is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Bear Specialist Group Human-Bear Conflicts Expert Team. She founded the Living with Wildlife Foundation in 2003 to find proactive solutions to prevention of human-bear conflicts. She also became an integral part of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee Bear-Resistant Products Testing Program when she developed a comprehensive protocol for testing bear-resistant products. She coordinated all aspects of the testing program through September of 2012 and continues to coordinate the Information and Education portion of the testing program.
In addition to working with the general public to prevent conflicts, Ms. Sowka has organized several human-bear conflict workshops for bear management specialists in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and Canada. In 2012, Ms. Sowka was instrumental in organizing the 4th International Human-Bear Conflicts Workshop that was held in Missoula, Montana. More than 300 people attended and several countries were represented.
Ms. Sowka produces the Living with Predators Resource Guides, a comprehensive, four-volume set of references containing information related to predator conflict avoidance. The guides are available for download at no cost through the Living with Wildlife Foundation web site and are being utilized in many countries around the world.
Ms. Sowka managed the State of Montana’s wildlife rehabilitation center between 2006 and 2009 where she specialized in care and release of orphaned bear cubs. Ms. Sowka now works with Northland Products, a plastics molding company in Arizona, to develop new, bear-resistant products to address specific issues related to securing of bear attractants.
Maine Bear Hunting Reform Narrowly Rejected by Voters
Mainers for Fair Bear Hunting expressed disappointment about the election results on Question 1, but thanked more than a quarter million Mainers who voted to end bear baiting, hounding, and trapping.
"We are grateful to so many Maine voters for supporting this proposed reform, and we look forward to working with them and with ‘no’ and non-voters to outlaw the practices of bear hounding and trapping, because we believe there’s substantial agreement on that issue."