The purpose of the Eastern Black Bear Workshop is to bring together state/provincial biologists, federal biologists, and university researchers with responsibilities for managing black bear populations in the eastern USA and Canada to discuss issues important to the management, conservation, and perpetuation of those black bear populations. EBBWs are inherently different from general conferences. Whereas conferences have the purpose of sharing information through the presentation of research and management papers, EBBWs are designed not only to share information, but more specifically to discuss and find solutions to problems of managing bear populations at the regional level.
The first official Eastern Black Bear Workshop was held in Delmar, New York in July 1972. The meeting was hosted by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Wildlife Research Lab; 31 attendees represented 10 states and one federal agency. Since 1972, the Workshop has had a consistent and successful track record of 18 biennial meetings hosted by 15 states and one Canadian province. Attendance has ranged from 31 at the first meeting to 146 at the 12th Workshop, with an average attendance of 89.