Reader: Problem isn’t the bears

Letter to the Editor

Posted: Friday, May 25, 2007

The Peninsula Clarion should stop participating in the “Bear Scare” campaign being conducted by the Alaska Department of Fish and Game biologists to justify and promote their desire for brown bear permit hunts on the Kenai Peninsula.

We don’t need weekly stories about “problem bears” invading our neighborhoods coupled with prevention advice from the same people who promote and permit bear baiting stations as an acceptable method of hunting black bears. One such station recently had no less than eight brown bears attracted to and seen feeding at it!

If ADF&G was really concerned about not habituating bears to human foods and thereby creating “problem bears,” it would outlaw bear baiting as the unethical and unsportsmanlike practice that it is. Any true sport hunter will admit that it is no more sportsman-like than shooting geese over seeded corn or a deer at a salt lick.

Also, if the true purpose of the brown bear permit hunts are to reduce the number of problem bear/human interactions, as stated, then the hunts should take place on the edges of our subdivisions, not in the core of the wildlife refuge bear habitat area. As far as the proposed management scheme to dye mark “problem bears” at the Russian River, it might be more useful to spray paint and mark the “problem fishermen” and their gear, so that the rest of us can safely stay away from the people who’s careless behavior is causing the bear attraction problem in the first place.

It might also be worthwhile to put ear tags on the “problem biologists” every time one of them comes up with another dumb idea, so that they can be easily identified at public meetings and their statements disregarded.

Walter H. Ward

Soldotna



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