Conflicts with humans get bears and wolves into trouble. But innovative product designs help protect people and their property as well as wildlife. Products like bear-resistant coolers and garbage cans, bear spray, fladry, and electrical deterrents all started with someone’s clever idea.
We are CALLING ALL INVENTORS to jump into the grizzly den with their design ideas. The winning applicant will be AWARDED UP TO $10,000 to take their idea to the next step!
- Shape your ideas for a complete design proposal to be submitted May 1, 2024.
- A panel of experts, including biologists and engineers, will review all Challenge proposals.
- The winning design will be announced July 1, 2024.
The Challenge supports projects that engage diverse communities and integrates equity and inclusion. Every inventor’s intellectual property is protected and the GWDC or its Board will not own any rights, titles, liabilities, or financial interests in its future development.
The Inventor’s Challenge is dedicated to the memory of Kirk Horn, a career wildlife biologist, educator, and dedicated supporter of the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. His interest in the GWDC dates to its inception when Kirk served as Director of Wildlife and Fisheries for the USDA Forest Service Northern Region in Missoula, MT. In 1989, Kirk organized an annual grizzly bear management class for agency managers at Lamar Station in Yellowstone National Park, and this week-long class always included a visit to GWDC. After Kirk and his wife Beth both retired from the Forest Service in 1999, they moved to Hebgen Lake near the GWDC to enjoy the wildlife and outdoor recreation they so loved, especially during the region’s deep winters.
Kirk joined the GWDC Board of Directors in 2012 and subsequently served as Board President to 2018. During his tenure, Kirk was instrumental in bringing the GWDC Riparian Center to completion. Kirk passed in 2019 and is greatly missed by the GWDC and all who knew him. Yet Kirk’s passion for wildlife and conservation endures through the many programs and organizations he worked with during his career and retirement, and the many people he taught and inspired.
We are sure Kirk would be excited to see the new and innovative ideas proposed for the Inventor’s Challenge to reduce conflicts between people and bears or wolves.