Remember bison, passenger pigeons; let's protect bears

Posted: Friday, July 25, 2003

Let's call it "Bear Facts."

Having lived in Alaska for 14 months may have some Alaskans feel I shouldn't be qualified to make comments on something they may feel I'm too new to judge.

But the way I see it is this:

Bears need their time to fish, just like we do. Bears need their time to hunt, just like we do also!

When is their time? Do they have clocks? Do they have deadlines? Yes, deadlines to bears are the same as ours. We and the bears need to teach our young whether it be in school or at home with us humans or in the woods or the rivers with the bears!

Bears have been going to Alaska rivers for food for perhaps thousands of years and teaching their young the same survival skills during that period of time using the trails their ancestors used. Since we humans were young, our hunting spots have turned into parking lots, rivers have been diverted, shopping centers have been built. Has this not happened to Alaska bears also? Their land has changed but they can't tell us how they feel, instead they have to raise their young to the best of their ability without complaint or hatred for human beings!

Do bears attack? Of course! Wouldn't we if we felt our loved ones were in danger?

Stop and picture a woman with her son and daughter walking on an Alaska trail, when all of a sudden the woman is killed as the children watch. Is it any different for a bear cub to see its mother killed?

I have seen pictures recently of fishermen beside the river with the bears beside them and they are not killing each other, but they are fishing in harmony. After all, we want fish for our freezers and table, yet they need fish to survive day to day.

There are bears that will and do attack humans for reasons very much unknown!

But, please let us not forget that human attack and brutally kill humans also for reasons unknown.

We are somewhat the same, bears and humans. We have the same needs, same requirements, and we need to live together and respect the fact that bears were perhaps here before us and yet sometimes some people say the only good bear is a dead bear.

Remember what we did to our bison and passenger pigeons. Let's not look back one day and have to show our children and grandchildren what a bear looked like by pointing to a picture in a magazine.

Just a new Alaskan's opinion, Ron Paul, Soldotna

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