LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A bear hunt in Lake Tahoe, seriously?
For those who live in the mountains that overlook Lake Tahoe, it’s magical. An excitement of the senses, of being close to nature the moment you walk out your door.
This euphoric feeling was shattered last week, when news of the fourth bear to be killed, occurred in my neighborhood. By neighborhood, I mean the area where we hike, mountain bike, snow shoe – where we coexist with nature around us. It’s a big area, connected by a series of paths, the Rim Trail and Castle Rock. It’s also home to some of the 200-300 black bears of the Sierras. I live off Kingsbury Grade, and I’ve had a mother bear and her cubs stroll down my driveway, the mother trying to keep her two mischievous cubs close. (I’ve seen the same thing with a mother and her kids at Target) It’s life in the mountains. We live here together, and as long as we keep garbage secured, there are no problems.
I’m not anti-hunting (heck, I even wrote a song recorded by Ted Nugent), but having a bear hunt in the recreational Tahoe basin is against what draws families here. Tahoe is a series of parks, ski resorts and villages, strung together by the rim trail in the mountains. It really makes it seem as though you are in one giant park, with no boundaries in between the various forest lands. This makes Tahoe a unique resort destination. Virtually all national parks in the United States & Canada, do not allow bear hunting. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association states that over 100,000 tourists are in Tahoe hiking and biking the trail every year. Most have the hope that someday they might see a bear in the wild, not see it killed. Picture them navigating the rim trail in a bright orange vest!?
If you analyze a map of the hunt zone, you’ll see it is within 100 feet of the rim trail. Simply put, guns and recreational land just don’t mix.
Stop the hunt before a disaster occurs, make trails safe and keep us the gem of the Sierra.