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Filmmaker follows BEAR League

For seven years Ann Bryant and the BEAR League have been giving hundreds of talks and presentations every year, encouraging people to be responsible when dealing with their furry neighbors.This year, a producer from PBS caught wind.Doug Bartran, a freelance producer and nature filmmaker from Nevada City came to Truckee for the first time in June to include the BEAR League in a show on the PBS “Nature” series called “Animals Behaving Worse.” He’s in Truckee this week working on “Lions, Coyotes and Bears: Living With Predators.”Bartran found Bryant, the executive director of the BEAR League, to be an important element in the story because of what she and her program have done around the Tahoe area to help black bears and educate the community on coexisting with wild animals.”[Bears] are a big issue, especially in the foothills, and I wanted to explore that issue locally because it is important for everybody to know about wild animals and how to live with them,” Bartran said. Bartran has also filmed and produced projects such as a show for NOVA called “Shark Attack,” about California great whites and Tiger sharks in Hawaii, and a National Geographic film called “Reptile Rulers,” about the reptiles of the Everglades.For “Lions, Coyotes, and Bears: Living with Predators,” a show that will air on KVIE channel 6, Bartran is following Bryant’s work and will include a segment of her presenting an educational slideshow to Suzanne Samson’s second grade class at Glenshire Elementary School.For the past two years, Samson’s class has been a part of a self-titled “Kids for Bears” team, which has studied black bears and has helped to educate the community about bear awareness and coexistence. In the first year, students from her class painted T-shirts and posters, some of which were posted around town.”It’s a service project with relevance and was a huge heads up for the community,” Samson said.That campaign resulted in more calls placed to the BEAR League than in previous years, said Bryant. Last year, students painted ceramic tiles that will be assembled to create a memorial to bears killed by humans.With human populations increasing in bear habitats, it’s necessary to educate everyone about how to live with bears, Bartran said.”More and more people are moving into wild habitats and part of the resolution in the conflict between people and animals is knowing more about it and how we affect them,” he said.


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