Lisa Bates joined Maine’s Bear Crew in 2006, and this winter enters her sixth season afield working with Black Bears in the state.
“When I became a volunteer on the trapping crew, I couldn’t believe that I was actually part of this awesome adventure,” Bates said. “My mind was like a sponge in a rainstorm, soaking up every ounce of information that passed by my senses. The entire six-week experience profoundly affected my life.”
Bates earned her bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology from Unity College, and she’s worked on several of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s most important projects since – helping conduct biological surveys on deer and moose, trapping Canada lynx, banding geese and monitoring chronic wasting disease.
Like Vashon before her, Bates hopes her Black Bear experience will help her as she continues in the field.
“I am proud of my job and proud to see that it plays such an important and necessary role in bear management,” said Bates, a native of Moro Plantation, near Patten, Maine. “This program, this rough and hardy field work, provides us with real, solid information about what’s happening with bears in Maine. Bears fascinate me, they humble me, and they keep me in a constant state of awe.”