Welcome to Save Bear Haven


Save Bear Haven was created by a group of individuals who wish to support Charlie Vandergaw in his legal conflict with the State of Alaska. Bear Haven—as Charlie calls his 40 acres—is located in the Susitna Valley about 50 miles from Anchorage. For over 20 years, he has co-existed peacefully with the black and grizzly bears who approached him first at Bear Haven.

On May 23, 2009, the Alaska Fish and Game charged Charlie Vandergaw with 20 misdemeanor counts of illegally feeding game, with penalites that include a possible one-year sentence in jail and up to $10,000 in fines.

It was only in January 2008 that Charlie's way of living with bears, including feeding, legally became a criminal activity. While officials deny any connection, we believe the law was changed in anticipation of the State's action against Charlie. Charlie is challenging these charges as well as the constitutionality of the relevant state regulations. Hunting regulations have also been changed, and bears are under siege as never before.


Your Help is Needed!

Save Bear Haven is soliciting donations to help offset Charlie Vandergaw's legal costs of defending against charges levied by the State of Alaska. Please join the campaign to maintain Bear Haven as it has developed over the last 25 years, a place where bears and people can learn from each other.


“Bears are made of the same dust as we, and breathe the same winds and drink of the same waters. A bear's days are warmed by the same sun, his dwellings are overdomed by the same blue sky, and his life turns and ebbs with heart-pulsings like ours....”

- John Muir”




Save Bear Haven Legal Fund

Join the campaign to support Charlie Vandergaw's legal defense and his efforts to change Alaska law to save the bears and preserve individual rights to live peacefully with wildlife […]

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The State of Alaska's case against Charlie Vandergaw is moving slowly toward a trial date sometime after August […]

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In the Media

Read about recent media coverage of Bear Haven and Charlie […]

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