The Chilkat Valley Historical Society (CVHS) has awarded $2,100 in grants to five applicants so far in an effort to promote electric fence use in the valley including to a small, fruit-tree orchard owner and a grower developing a multi-acre farm.

The Rasmuson Foundation provided $12,000 in “fencing grants’’ to the CVHS to help curb human-bear conflicts after last year’s record brown bear mortality when 30 bears were killed by police and residents outside the hunting season.

“The project aim is protecting wildlife and supporting local food security–gardens, farms, animal husbandry and growing fruits and berries,” according to the CVHS.

“We’re trying to discourage food conditioning in bears, and encourage creative food producers,” said Burl Sheldon, project leader for the CVHS effort.  “I think the Rasmuson Foundation liked that we are focused on improving fence design standards and that we use the local suppliers.”  

Successful applicants will receive a voucher to be spent at either Haines Home Building Supply or Lutak Lumber. 

Applications, FAQs and a fencing brochure, produced by project collaborator Takshanuk Watershed Council, are available on the group’s website  The grant period is open until April 1, 2022. Fences must be operational by August 2022.