2 Dec 2007, 11:41pm
by admin

Three Bear Stories

by Mike D.

At some point during the Decline and Fall of Western Sanity, bears (large mammals in the family Ursidae, order Carnivora) morphed from dangerous predators (yet tasty bags of meat and objects of the Hunt) into cuddly little cartoon fuzz balls.

The morphing took place only in the Mass Consciousness, not in Reality.

Reality, durn it, has a way of intruding on fantasy and reverie, however. And in the matter of bears, Reality has been intruding at an increased rate of late.

The Aspen Times reported last month [here]:

Are there too many black bears? Wildlife officials mull thinning population after record year of trouble

by Joel Stonington, Aspen Times, Nov. 15, 2007

ASPEN — A record-breaking year for bear activity is finally winding down, but the number of human-bear interactions is sparking a conversation about thinning the bruin population, state Division of Wildlife officials said Wednesday.

“We’re talking about, biologically, if development, human population growth, recreation use and energy use have reduced bear habitat to the point where we need to reduce the bear population in the state of Colorado,” said Wildlife Division spokesman Randy Hampton.

This year might break state records. It certainly did so in Pitkin County, where 13 bears were euthanized, 24 relocated and four cubs were taken to a rehabilitation center…

Bears were a major safety concern in the upper valley. Aspen community safety officers say they spent roughly a third of their time this summer dealing with bear problems. For example, there were 435 calls to 911 between July 30 and Oct. 24 for bear-related issues…

A bear entered Judith Garrison’s Aspen condo about 1:30 a.m. Oct. 17. The woman surprised the bear in the kitchen, and it clawed her in the face, causing serious injuries. On Oct. 11, a bear attacked 71-year-old John Clark in his garage on East Sopris Creek in Snowmass…

The bear that attacked Ms. Garrison was a radio-collared bear and the property of either the Colorado Division of Wildlife or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, or both. All bears are the property of the State, but collared bears are especially so. Tragically in this case, the State and it’s employees assumed zero responsibility, although agents of the State shot the bears after they attacked tax-paying citizens in their homes.

After approximately 300+ calls to 911 over the previous two weeks! Johnny-on-the-spot they’re not! I wonder how the mulling is coming along, or if they mulled themselves to sleep (again).

Aspen is not unique. In August the Tahoe Daily Tribune reported [here]:

Bear’s death highlights problem

Kevin MacMillan, Tahoe Daily Tribune
August 9, 2023

INCLINE VILLAGE — A month ago, area residents were uttering the phrase “better defensible space awareness” after the devastating Angora fire scorched 3,100 acres of land and destroyed more than 250 homes in South Lake Tahoe.

Officials are hoping a different disaster isn’t needed to add the phrase “better bear awareness” to the Incline Village/Crystal Bay resident’s vocabulary.

Last week’s slaying of a 660-pound black bear in the Rubicon and Freels Peak neighborhoods has turned a summer full of bear sightings in Incline Village into a more serious matter. Not only does it heighten the awareness that there is a potential for danger, but it should teach residents a valuable lesson, officials said…

Sgt. Carl Barnett of the Incline Village Substation said, on average, his office receives about 12 to 15 bear-related calls per day. Eighty percent of those calls result in actual bear sightings, he said.

The Tahoe Basin has the second highest density of black bears in North America, with several bears per square mile at times, according to the Nevada Department of Wildlife Web site…

Sgt. Erik Frederickson responded with deputies Jason Wood and Randy Vawters to a bear call at 130 Rubicon Peak Lane at about 5:30 a.m. Thursday morning.

Capt. Steve Kelly, commander at the Incline Village Substation, said the homeowner called the sheriff’s office, saying a bear was in his house. He then locked himself and his family in the master bedroom, waiting for authorities to arrive.

Once the deputies arrived, Kelly said they opened the garage door to provide the bear an escape route.

However, when Frederickson looked through the open dining room window and saw the bear, Kelly said the bear spotted him. The animal growled and charged through the window at Frederickson, who shot the bear with a shotgun at close range in self defense…

[Tahoe-based BEAR League executive director Ann] Bryant disagreed, saying it couldn’t have been the bear’s intention to attack Frederickson because black bears aren’t mean-spirited.

Another argument she made was the family never should have locked itself in a bedroom.

“The thing that gets me is the family was too afraid to approach the bear — they were scared, so they hid in the bedroom. It’s shameful,” Bryant said. “That’s what is happening in the basin. People are being kept in fear by (NDOW and the California Department of Fish and Game) because they’re telling them it’s OK to be afraid. It’s just shameful.

“That’s why this bear was needlessly shot. Because the family was to afraid to yell at the bear to ‘get out’ and stand its territory.”

Ladies and gentlemen, and you kids, too, please do not attempt to shoo bears out of your home or engage in in hand-to-hand turf battles for territorial dominance with 660-pound carnivores. You will lose, unless you discharge firearms at the bear to sway the issue.

This is not rocket science. In fact, it’s basic Darwinian instinct and requires little thought. Do not listen to crazy people who think bears are cute and cuddly. In the Olden Days such people were rapidly Darwinized, but nowadays they walk around relatively unscathed by bears and jabbering malarkey like blue jays.

And worse. Not only is an exploding population of bears attacking urban residents in their urban homes, the eco-delusionals are feeding the bears to keep the pop boom going. From the Sacramento Bee [here]:

Battle over feeding Tahoe bears — State says plan to drop food in backcountry will do more harm than good

by Barbara Barte Osborn - Bee Correspondent, Sept 8, 2023

A bear-advocacy group that planned to do a backcountry food drop for Tahoe bears this week has run into opposition from the state Department of Fish and Game.

While agreeing that a drought has dried up natural foods, leading to a proliferation of cabin break-ins by bears, department officials say supplying food could do more harm than good.

Tahoe bears have weathered other droughts, said Doug Updike, a wildlife biologist who heads the department’s state bear program.

And although the area has a high density of bears — two to three per square mile — June’s Angora fire would have displaced only 10 to 15, Updike said.

“What makes this an emergency over other years?” he asks.

Bear advocates have an answer: It has become an emergency situation because the food shortage is putting humans at risk as well as bears…

In hopes of luring them away from neighborhoods, [Ann Bryant's BEAR League] volunteers, including six pilots, want to drop hundreds of pounds of natural foods into a number of backcountry areas.

“We’re fully equipped and ready to roll, but Fish and Game is tying our hands,” said Bryant…

The BEAR League wants to drop food to lure the bears into the backcountry where they will hibernate.

Updike said the department opposes that practice because it can cause more cubs to be born into a habitat that can’t support them.

“Luring bears to an area by intentionally feeding them is against the law,” he said. “Supplemental feeding is a negative thing because you’re messing with the fine balance between natural food and population size.”

The food could also artificially boost other populations, such as rodents, and further habituate the bears to people, Updike said.

“We’re not going to go into the backcountry and open cans of peaches,” said Bryant. “It’s totally natural, untouched food from orchards. And people are raking up acorns in their yards and bringing them in with gloves.”

The food would be scattered through the backcountry, which wouldn’t cause bears to congregate, she said.

Bryant declined to say whether the group still plans the food drop.

“We learned some hikers had already taken some natural foods into the backcountry a few days ago,” she said. “We checked the area afterwards. The food was gone, there was lots of bear poop and we’re no longer getting calls from the nearest neighborhoods.”

“We know this works because it’s worked elsewhere and it’s already working here,” she added.

Updike, however, said he was “not aware of any other state that feeds black bears. No other Western states do this. Most have a policy against it, as we do.”

Ladies and gentlemen, and you kids, too, please don’t feed the bears.

It pains me to have to make this plea, because I would like to think you all had more sense than that from the get go (meaning the womb).

If you want to shoot a bear, and make sausage and a rug out it, that would be more in line with traditional rational behavior, and it would serve you and your neighbors much more than feeding the bears!

The Sac Bee article had some comments attached. One stood out, from a Mr. or Ms. rccarl:

Tahoe has more bears than can be supported by natural food. The dramatic increase in break-ins by Tahoe’s marauding bears began last Fall, not this summer. That was a wet year, with abundant natural food. Our small sub-division alone had 25 break-ins.

When I told Ann Bryant of the Tahoe BEAR League that a bear that dangerous had to be destroyed, she said this to my face: “If you have the Department of Fish and Game destroy a bear, your home will be vandalized, your phone will never stop ringing and you will be driven out of Tahoe.” This happened at a public meeting with multiple witnesses.

The BEAR League is run by a fanatic and works with eco-terrorists. They value their sacred bears above human life and property. Do not support them and do not feed those bears. Listen to DF&G.

So it turns out that not everybody in Lake Tahoe has gone insane, and I count that as a significant blessing in these troubled times.

Confucius is reputed to have said, “He who sleeps with bears is soon bear shit.” In all of history, wiser words have rarely been spoken.

5 Dec 2007, 11:04pm
by Tallac

It is sheer insanity to propose more airdrops or hand scatter of food to lure bears out of neighborhoods, even though some attempts have already occurred this summer, against all warnings.

Have these “preservationists” really thought about the ramifications and consequences with this option to solve a bad bear problem?

Besides the obvious? No doubt, people will encounter more “domesticated” and “anticipating” bears (that are brainwashed like their protectors) on a hike in the woods. And folks may also get smacked in the head with an aerial gift basket from heaven above. Heads up if you are wandering around Tahoe, even if it’s only a rotten apple or peach (underfoot or raining down).

Thank you BEAR League. May I suggest you post some warning signs on random trees in the woods, and also retain a good attorney. Think it through, people.



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