Editorial: Bear fever makes some people crazy
Mary Lou Mosbacher has a 42-year history of residency in South Lake Tahoe, and during that time she’s seen her share of bears and other wildlife – she’s even raised some livestock of her own. But it wasn’t until recently that Mosbacher’s close encounters with bears got too close. Inside her house close.
So what’s an elderly woman who lives by herself to do? Call the cops, of course. And in doing so, she apparently set off a firestorm that resulted in vandalism of a bear trap placed in front of her home, and telephoned threats of violence.
Mrs. Mosbacher was apparently referred to the California Department of Fish and Game, and sought a depredation permit so the department could place a trap on her property. Trapped bears are euthanized in California. And that’s the sticking point in this story.
Mrs. Mosbacher played by the rules, but the person or persons who have harassed her did not. They decided bears, however intrusive they are to Mosbacher’s Upper Truckee home and her personal safety, don’t deserve to be trapped and euthanized. But regardless of how the intimidator(s) feel, their beef is with the wrong person if directed at Mosbacher. Rather than seeking to change the law, they decided to take the law into their own hands.
Many of Mosbacher’s neighbors, the people who know her, vouch for her character. She is involved in the community and even invites schoolchildren to her property to see the animals she raises there. But there are people who claim she has a vendetta, that she wants bears dead. They have called our newspaper, making outrageous claims about what she has done, claims that appear to be untrue.
Small-minded people have harassed a woman who doesn’t deserve it, and they should stop. If they don’t like the rules, the rules that Mosbacher has apparently followed, then change the rules. That’s how it works in America.