Bear Viewing

Bear Viewing in the Grizzly Bear Recovery Zones

DON’T APPROACH BEARS—EVER! That’s as simple as it gets.

It is safer to view bears in an area where the bear viewing is an accepted and managed practice. Whether you’re viewing bears from a car in a national forest or along a roadside in a national park, you need to exercise caution and accountability.

You need to know all applicable park, forest or public land regulations for keeping your distance between you and a bear. Most public lands have regulations regarding wildlife viewing in general and some have specific rules for bears. Please consult local authorities for details.

IGBC Position Statement on Unsafe Bear Viewing Practices

The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC) is the consortium of state, federal, tribal, and Canadian resource management agencies charged with recovery of grizzly bears in the United States south of Canada.   The IGBC believes that bear viewing, and photography are important human activities with regards to bears and can increase public support for bear conservation when these activities are properly conducted and portrayed.   Close proximity to bears, however, may lead to the injury or death of viewers as well as bears.  These outcomes are harmful to bear conservation and management.  The IGBC is concerned about instances where individuals approaching bears too closely have been widely publicized and portrayed on television, film, and accounts in other media.   Individuals portrayed in some of these instances have suggested directly or through their behavior that it is appropriate and safe for people to closely approach or interact with bears.