Maintaining healthy populations of bears requires maintaining high quality, intact bear habitat.
Many positive benefits to overall land stewardship can be gained from managing habitats for black bears. Forest and agricultural practices that benefit bears also benefit many other wildlife species. Most of the practices described as beneficial for bears coincide with Best Management Practices (BMP) for forestry and soil conservation practices for agriculture. Practices that promote black bear habitat are outlined throughout the following section. Landowners whose management objectives include timber, wildlife, or agriculture, and who desire to enhance their lands for bears can incorporate the following guidelines into their individual management strategies.
Reforestation on Private Lands
If you have land located in the Mississippi, Atchafalaya, Ouachita, Red, or Neches River corridors (in Louisiana, Mississippi, or Texas), the BBCC would like to help you convert your marginal cropland back into forest. Bottomland hardwood forests are prime habitat for many species of wildlife, including bears. It is estimated that over 250 species use this type of habitat. Riparian corridors also provide important habitat for migrating birds traveling between their breeding ranges in the north country, and their winter habitats in the tropics. Tree planting options include cost-share, donated plantings, and some profitable incentives. The BBCC will help you find the solution that best meets your needs and plans for your property. If we can’t plant trees for you, we can direct you to others who can. If you are interested in putting your land back into trees, contact the BBCC.