Living with Wildlife

Living with Wildlife Advisory Board

The Living with Wildlife Board (LWAB) advises the La Plata County Commissioners on methods of preventing and resolving wildlife conflicts. LWAB is your resource for questions about conflicts with wildlife in La Plata County.

LWAB recognizes that abundant wildlife adds to our quality of life while contributing to our local economy in tourist dollars.  Predators such as bear, coyote and mountain lion are vital to maintaining healthy ecosystems.  As La Plata County’s wildlife/urban interface increases so do the cost and potential for wildlife conflicts.

LWAB addresses this issue with a “WildSmart” approach that involves working pro-actively with residents and area land managers. 

About the Living with Wildlife Advisory Board

The Living With Wildlife Advisory Board consists of qualified volunteers who serve in an advisory role for the La Plata County Commissioners on issues involving wildlife issues in La Plata County.The goal of the LWAB is to reduce conflict between wildlife and residents of La Plata County.

LWAB works proactively with land-owners and local and state authorities to:

  • Host wildlife information lectures
  • Distribute useful information regarding living with wildlife
  • Develop and coordinate educational programs to assist community members with living with wildlife on their property safely and appropriately
  • Provide "Living Wild Smart" information via the La Plata County's website

Be Wild Smart

Avoid Close Encounters with Wildlife:

  • Never feed wildlife – it is illegal to feed deer, elk or bear.
  • Prevent dogs from roaming
  • Keep pet food and feeding  indoors
  • Hang bird feeders in areas inaccessible to bear, deer and raccoons
  • Close openings under foundations, patios
  • Store garbage in wildlife-resistant containers
  • Set out garbage cans the morning of collection
  • Keep barbecue grill clean or in an enclosed area
  • Clear excess brush from landscape close to home
  • Landscape defensively using plants animals avoid and/or fencing

Avoid Wildlife Collisions on the Highways:

  • Slow Down to increase your reaction time.
  • Scan Ahead and watch for movement along roadsides.
  • Brake. Don't Swerve.
  • Be ready for animals to change direction.
  • For more information click on Driving and Wildlife.

More Information about Wildlife:

The Colorado Parks & Wildlife CPW website has a great deal of additional information about living with wildlife.

Habitat Partnership Program (HPP) HPP Logodesigned by the Colorado Wildlife Commission and Colorado State Legislature to help reduce wildlife - agricultural conflicts and to assist the Division of Wildlife to meet game management objectives on both public and private lands.  HPP develops partnerships between landowners, land managers, sportsmen, the public and the DOW to resolve those conflicts.

Click here for quick useful links to other Wildlife Resources LWAB LOGO about a variety of wildlife species that may be encountered in La Plata County.

LWAB member Don Bruning published an informative article in the Durango Herald (October 15, 2014) on The Unintended Consequences of Lead Bullets. Donald Bruning is a retired curator for the Wildlife Conservation Society and a member of the La Plata County Living with Wildlife Advisory Board.

Contact Information

For Information about the Living with Wildlife Board, please contact Jan at (970) 382-6219 or via this contact form.


1101 East 2nd Avenue
Durango, CO 81301

Todd Bayless - Chair

Follow LWAB on Facebook Facebook

CO Mountain Lion
Nature, Management & Conservation

Durango Public Library, 
April 4, 2018. 6:30 PM

Presentation on Colorado Mountain Lions by
Ken Logan, Ph.D. CPW


Entering the Bear Den
CPW Concludes study on Human-Bear Interaction

Colorado Outdoors,
March 29, 2017

Read about the six-year bear CPW study in Durango lead by Dr. Heather Johnson here  

Wildlife Museum
Colorado Parks & Wildlife

Located at the 
Durango Fish Hatchery
151 East 16th Street
Durango, Colorado 81301

Visiting Hours:
Monday-Saturday 10 am - 4 pm
Sunday 11 am - 3 pm