An updated plan to manage Oregon’s 25,000-30,000 estimated black bears is available for review online.

Public comments related to the draft update of the Oregon black bear management plan will be taken at the Fish and Wildlife Commission meeting on June 7 and 8 in Salem.

Comments received by April 13 will be reviewed and summarized for the commission by the April 20 meeting in Salem, when Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff will brief commissioners on the plan.

A revised draft plan will be available in May.

Email comments to, mail to ODFW Wildlife Division, 3406 Cherry Ave. NE, Salem OR 97303, or fax to 503-947-6330.

A state black bear management plan was last adopted by the ODFW in 1993. Since that time, the overall population size of black bears has been stable.

Oregon’s black bear population was estimated at about 9,000 in the early 1930s, but had grown to an estimated 25,000 by the 1990s.

The draft plan outlines four main objectives:

• Maintaining a healthy bear population in balance with other wildlife,

• Reducing the number of human-bear conflicts that result in lethal removal or relocation of bears,

• Developing and refining population modeling techniques, and

• Using applied research to improve the understanding of black bear management and ecology.

The updated draft plan includes new information and changes in bear management.

Some other facts about black bears and black bear management in Oregon:

• Black bear densities are highest in the Coast, Cascade, and Blue mountains, and lowest in the arid southeast region.

• Black bears can vary in color from light brown to black.

• Most human-bear problems occur when bears are being fed by people.

• There has never been a recorded fatal bear attack in Oregon. Only four human-bear interactions that resulted in injury have been documented by ODFW.


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