John Richard
Special to the Bonanza

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March 20, 2012
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Guest Column: What did we learn with latest bear death? Nothing! (w/ video)

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — Sad to say we have continued down the path of insanity — “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

The result was the death of a beautiful bear.

A couple weeks ago, we all joined in sincere discussion, some of it heated and misinformed, but all well-intended. Matchless Court/Saddlehorn residents in Incline Village and IVGID were convicted of lax trash handling, despite no evidence of such. Names and phone numbers were published (in press releases and on Facebook) resulting in threats. A warden doing his job, and NDOW was accused of blood lust. Thankfully, that critter was relocated by NDOW with aversion training.

We all passed assessments on our computer walls. I wrote a column. Then we all did the wrong thing — we took absolutely no action. We didn’t have to wait long for our folly to take its toll.

March 7, trash day of course, all hell broke loose again. The relocated sibling’s brother was right back at it in the Matchless/Saddlehorn area. He took up residence in the human hoods instead of his wild woods with activity putting him at risk. The altar upon which to heap our shame, the infamous bear trap was back in place with its pilgrimage of Pine-Sol toting bear saviors.

The Blame Game again reached a fevered frenzy. It felt like Bill Murray in “Groundhog Day.” Misinformation was again recklessly bandied about. The call was made to hunt down the name of the person who called for help. This name was then posted for public criticism and admonishment. Condemnation was falsely levied on residents for trash being carelessly available. IVGID was denounced for lax regulation enforcement. Vilification of the evil empire NDOW, its warden and biologist was swift. Raw nerves of polarized neighbors were again exposed. The whole sad circus was back, and another bear was at risk. Nothing was fixed!

Alongside this lack of corrective action, dissemination of false information continued. Some quotes during this event, from Facebook:

• They need to kill the people who don’t take care of their garbage that draws the bears!

• When humans act responsibly, bears rarely present a problem. So WHY do some humans feel the need to set baited traps so they can “claim” this bear is a “problem bear”?

• Let Ken Mayer, director of NDOW, know how you feel about them capturing and executing a bear for the crime of sleeping in a culvert!

• Where are the bears supposed to go if they can’t sleep in the woods up there??

• now the bear is dead and we can thank the guys on matchless court for no bear box. Come on’ incline where is your enforcement?!!!!!

• Thank you for causing all these problems. Now the bear is dead. Can live with this? And it was a different bear. It was just there.

• and ya wonder why the bears are hanging around..!! Dummies do not have a bear proof dumpster....HELLO Incline!!!

• Too bad people can’t just keep their trash locked up till trash days.

• You’re a paranoid old man, are you happy the bear is killed! He wasn’t doing anything!

• If people leave the trash out like this the poor bears have no chance up there. Why don’t they go after the people instead of the bears?

• I have an air horn I have never used it but I have made loud noises with pots and they go away.

• A bear sitting near a house. Terrorist bear? For him it’s like sitting in his yard. What could he be intending to do?

• … there is NO evidence that the car break ins were committed by Bears… and quite likely it was by humans.

• Channel 4 news actually reported a string of car break in Incline.

Now, regarding the claim there was no evidence of a car break-ins by bears and inference it was human thieves — three car owners witnessed the bear(s) in their cars.

Regarding the other strings of misinformation, video recorded on March 7th and 14th trash days provides facts:

This video clearly demonstrates:

• Bear at risk for far more than sleeping in a culvert.

• Bear broke into a house.

• No resident failed to properly handle trash; this bear appeared just shortly before the trash truck arrived.

• After the resident came and cleaned trash the bear had gotten into, the bear-proof box was closed.

• Sheriff reported that he checked that this bear box was closed before he left the scene on March 7.

• IVGID was on scene for enforcement and found no trash violation.

• 13 minutes after the sheriffs and IVGID left, bear was back and shortly was into bear box trash (if they are opening car doors, can they open trash boxes?)

• On March 14, trash day, bear is back despite no one on Matchless having their trash out due to bear’s presence.

• Aversion methods residents are allowed DID NOT WORK!

John Richard is an Incline Village resident.

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Tahoe Daily Tribune Updated Mar 20, 2012 11:34AM Published Mar 20, 2012 11:33AM Copyright 2012 Tahoe Daily Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.