DENVER (AP) — State wildlife officials will study Colorado’s black bear population and how to reduce conflicts with humans under a bill that has been signed into law.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed a bill Friday that orders Colorado Parks and Wildlife to study Colorado’s increasing black bear population. The agency says Colorado has about 19,000 black bears, up from about 12,000 in the early 2000s.

The bill sponsored by Republican Rep. Yeulin Willett of Delta requires wildlife officials to analyze how to manage Colorado’s bear population and to find ways to address bear interactions with humans.

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