By Lou Ann Richardson
September 04, 2007
Once again, I find myself writing the rare response letter in
Sitnews. This one, regarding the garbage bears.
I, like Ms. Young, live in Bear Valley, in fact, I believe I
live right down the street from her. Unlike her, or Mr. Easterly,
and the many others who have their garbage spread all over, I
have no problem with the garbage bears. There are at least four
houses in our section of Brown Deer Road that never have a problem
with the garbage bears. Why? Because we take precautions to
care for our garbage in a way so as not to attract the bears
in the first place. The garbage bears are here due to our behavior,
we have created their dependence on our garbage and it's up to
us to remedy it, not by expecting Fish and Game to fix it all
the time and not with a gun and testerone, but by being responsible
stewards of our environment.
Aside from suggesting that folks assume some responsibility for
their own behavior, I would also suggest that the city of Ketchikan
do as the city of Juneau did with their problem garbage bears...the
short version....if a bear's getting into your garbage, you get
cited and ultimately fined. The gist of the ordinance is:
1. Your container(s) must
have a secure(d) lid(s).
2. Your garbage can must be secured within a confined area and
may not be accessible before 4 a.m. of your own particular garbage
3. If your garbage can is noted by Juneau police on patrol to
be out beyond the time allowed, a red warning tag is attached
to your can giving you your "first warning" to secure
your can and that you are in violation and could be cited.
4. If bears continue to get into your garbage, you will be fined
$50, $100, and $300 respectively for each incident, with the
cap at $300 for each subsequent infraction.
If you shoot the bear, you
still get the fine.
According the Juneau police, from 2001-2004, they had an 80%
decrease in problem bears in the garbage.
Unfortunately, thanks to my neighbor like Ms. Young and Mr. Easterly
and his neighbors, and their inability to appropriately handle
their garbage, young unsuspecting bears are likely going to to
be shot. Nice stewardship of our environment folks.
I would be happy to participate in a community task force to
begin identifying a community response much like Juneau's where
we hold each other financially liable for problem garbage bears.
Maybe that will get folks' attention to managing their garbage
instead of expecting everyone else to fix the problem.
In the meantime, bottom line Ms. Young, if you want the bears
to return to their natural habitat, take responsibility for your
garbage like the rest of us have learned to do, clearly what
you've been doing isn't enough. You need to come up with an
answer to this, not Fish and Game, and not with guns.
Lou Ann Richardson
Received September 04, 2007
- Published September 04, 2007
About: "25 year Ketchikan
resident and 18 year Bear Valley resident with no garbage bear
bears HAVE GOT TO GO By Gabreal A. Easterly - Ketchikan,
2 of "Bear Patrol" By Lynette R. Young - Ketchikan,
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