Letter to the editor: I believe we can co-exist with the bears
August 7, 2013
I realize that there has been no shortage lately of verbiage concerning bear activity and responses to it here in the Tahoe basin. It's become an emotional issue, which unfortunately results in the two sides — those against trapping "nuisance" bears and those deeming the bears a threat to people and property—hurling accusations and even lodging veiled threats, with the first group being dubbed "bear-huggers" and the latter, "bear-killers." Such actions and labels do not help the situation and most certainly do not help the bears. And, simply wanting the Nevada Department of Wildlife to hold the public more accountable for the public's negligent actions that ultimately result in trapping and euthanizing bears does not make one a bear-hugger. It seems to me that anyone living in Tahoe is a de facto environmentalist simply due to the fact that we choose to live here in large part because of the environment.
I'm pretty certain all sides can agree that eliminating all of the bears is not something anyone wants. These instances are giving this region, NDOW, and the state of Nevada an ugly black eye. The bears aren't going away — and neither are those of us who want to find an alternative to euthanizing them all (— and no, I don't see bears as giant cuddly pets. I just think they have the right to live in their own habitat and that it is incumbent on all of us who live here to learn how to co-exist with them. With new and stronger trash ordinances, coupled with more vigilant enforcement of ordinances already on the books, I believe it is possible for all of us — including the bears — to co-exist peacefully and respectfully. Ultimately, if one wants to view the current situation purely from an image standpoint, this is a PR nightmare for our community.
Incline Village, Nev.
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