Finally, sanctioned ‘Bear Feeding Stadiums’ | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Finally, sanctioned ‘Bear Feeding Stadiums’

Ann Bryant

After several years of dealing with people and bears, the BEAR League has amassed an incredible amount of data and thereby has made an important and surprising decision regarding feeding bears. This may come as a shock to many of you who have grown accustomed to our endless mantra “Don’t Feed the Bears!”

We have now completely changed our tune and are planning on setting up “Bear Feeding Stadiums” all around the Tahoe Basin and Truckee. This state-of-the-art activity will be run scientifically and professionally and we are asking for your compliance in using the designated areas as the only places for our bears to locate unnaturally provided food from now on. If we can make this project operate successfully, none of us will ever again be bothered by bears coming into our neighborhoods in search of a quick and easy meal.

We admit we still have a few details to work out and foreseeable difficult permitting processes to battle through, but what follows is our plan: (Note: If you are faint of heart you may not wish to continue reading.)

Large open-air arenas will be constructed approximately every five square miles, as that is a bear’s normal foraging habitat here at Tahoe. The bears will have their own entrance into the arena and the attendees will have another separate admittance, all joining together once inside. Part of the plan involves allowing limited human attendance and we are pleased to announce there will be no charge but it will operate on a lottery system. People will be chosen, although not randomly, to attend the scheduled evening bear feeding event. Due to the expected popularity we, the BEAR League, will ask that only those who qualify by meeting our standards should plan on being admitted into the “show.”

As we are still in the preliminary stages of outlining the specifics, we thought it might be appropriate to leak to the public some of the proposed qualifications required to attend the festivities.

First and foremost, anyone who feeds the bears will be granted a written invitation. These are people who have obviously enjoyed watching the bears come into areas where they don’t belong, and should have no ethical issues with what we are trying to accomplish. (That being unnaturally providing food to wild bears.)

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After all of the above-mentioned attendees are no longer interested we will then choose from those folks who have been careless with their garbage. We have county laws in most areas around Tahoe making it illegal to allow a bear access to garbage, but there are still those among us who can’t be bothered by such inane inconveniences and we are very tired of trying to coach them into being responsible so they will be invited to the ‘Bear Feeding Stadium’ as quickly as possible.

We also will happily accommodate anyone who comes to vacation in Tahoe without at least making an attempt to understand the responsibilities an intelligent human has when coming into a bear’s ancestral habitat. These are the people who come here and are so intent on capturing a photo of a bear that they put food out to attract them. Or the vacationers who party half the night and then leave out all the left-over BBQ and snacks for the bears to come and munch on but who then call us, horrified and distraught, because the bear took them up on the invitation to dine on their deck. This category will also include the vacationers who actually believe a bear would never go through a screen in order to get into their open kitchen window and rob them of all their ice cream, cake, cookies and beer. (Our bears aren’t dumb; they know there is food in kitchens, and if they can easily get in, they will do so.)

We have a few other chosen categories for admittance, all of which also involve not using the brains people are supposedly born with, so don’t be upset if you are feeling left out. If you have been excluded it means you are an intelligent, responsible, honorable person and you deserve to go do something better with your time.

We could use your help, though. Since our bears are about 90 percent vegetarian and have never shown any desire whatsoever to change their preferences from sweets, berries, garbage and herbs to something so unsavory, we are asking for your input on how we can coax the ‘Bear Feeding Stadium’ attendees to let us drizzle them with a peanut butter and honey syrup as they enter the arena to participate in the show.

The BEAR League works to educate people on living responsibly in Bear Country. We are members of your community who are here to help with any questions or concerns you may have regarding bears. We also appreciate your good sense of humor.

– Ann Bryant is executive director of the Homewood-based BEAR League, which can be reached at (530) 525-PAWS (7297), http://www.savebears.org, or by e-mail at bearsnsquirrels@sbcglobal.net

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