KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — In this week’s Smoky Mountain Minute, officials with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park spoke about staying “bear aware.”

The Supervisory Wildlife Biologist for the National Park, Bill Stiver, has studied and helped protect black bears since he was a graduate student at the University of Tennessee. He spoke about his efforts and what he has learned along the way.

Stiver also spoke about what locals and visitors to the park can do to help protect the bears while also protecting themselves.

Officials with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park are partnering with WATE 6 On Your Side News at Midday for a new weekly segment titled “Smoky Mountain Minute.” The segment will run every Wednesday.

For ideas or topics you’d like to see covered in a Smoky Mountain Minute segment, you can email Midday Anchor Lexi Spivak at or reach out to her via social media.