What it takes to start a business / Black bears wandering into populated areas

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A black bear in a tree in Harrisburg looks at nearby people. (Brett Sholtis/WITF News)

What to look for on Smart Talk, Tuesday, July 30, 2019:

A new generation of businesspeople at Bucknell University is helping Pennsylvania entrepreneurs and small businesses get on their feet.

Students at Bucknell’s Small Business Development Center have provided free, confidential consulting to an array of businesses, from pharmacies to restaurants.

This year Bucknell’s College of Engineering will work with sports company Gilson Snow to develop a water sports line. Gov. Tom Wolf awarded a $70,000 grant through the Manufacturing PA initiative to Gilson Snow for the project.

Bucknell mechanical engineering professors Craig Beal and Nate Siegel and up to five students will be working with Gilson Snow to develop and test wakeboard designs through summer 2020

The Bucknell College of Engineering and SBDC first partnered with Gilson Snow in 2013 to launch a line of skis and snowboards.

Joining us on Tuesday’s Smart Talk to discuss entrepreneurism and small business projects in the region are Steven Stumbris, director of the Small Business Development Center at Bucknell University and Nick Gilson, CEO of Gilson Snow.


(L to R) Bucknell mechanical engineering professor Craig Beal; wakeboard project lead Aurelia Glass, a rising mechanical engineering senior at Johns Hopkins University; and Bucknell mechanical engineering junior Matt Rulon examine the initial wakeboard prototype, which was just tested on water last week. Photo by Bucknell University

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Nick Gilson (L) and Steven Stumbris (R)

Also, a 2015 population estimate showed approximately 20,000 black bears living in the commonwealth.

Bears have been spotted in parks, neighborhoods and communities around Pennsylvania and seem to be wandering into populated areas more often. Is the range for bears growing or are there other factors in play?

The best way to discourage bears from visiting your backyard is to avoid leaving food out. Black bears will eat human food, garbage, bird feed, pet foods, fruits from trees or gardens, and livestock feed. They also raid cornfields and beehives. Once a bear finds food, it’s likely to return determined to find more. You can take steps to avoind bears like cleaning your trash bins with hot water and chlorine bleach.

Appearing on Smart Talk to discuss why we’re seeing more bears outside the wood is Pennsylvania Game Commission biologist Mark Ternent, who will also address what to do if you come face to face with a bear.

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Mark Ternent