Just a reminder: Bears were here first


Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2001

I have lived in Alaska for over 50 years, 43 of them here in Juneau. We have had bears here as long as I can recall, but only in recent times has it become a problem. The problem to a large extent is that the general population regards these bears as some kind of a threat and are prone to call the police to take care of the problem. Everyone should take care in the disposal of their garbage and an effective deterrent is a cup full of household bleach in each garbage can, added after the garbage is in the can.

That brings up another problem. Almost every household has a kitchen exhaust fan which emits all those good aromatic smells throughout the neighborhood. And how about all the barbecue grills. What is even worse is these bears can smell this from miles away. Is Mr. Farmer going to demand the elimination of these hoods and grills? Might as well as long as these people are convinced that bird feeders are the major problem.

One of the biggest problems with garbage being scattered all over is the hundreds of ravens. Yet I don't hear any complaints about them. Just take a ride any morning prior to pick up time and see the mess these ravens make. Ask the people who have received fines for this.

To make a long story short, if the city passes this ordinance they are going to have to hire several garbage cops to go around and ticket you and me. They will have to do this to justify their job. In the meantime guess what, the old bears will still be at their game and the police will have to continue trapping or destroying these animals. The long and short of it is a large increase in our garbage collection fees and with very questionable results. And by the way not everyone has a garage to keep their garbage in all week long and most of us that do will not accept housing the garbage in our homes.

Let us adopt more stringent control over the time of the garbage take out and of those bears that won't or can't adapt. They will have to be moved or destroyed. The public attitude is going to have to change also. Every bear is not a threat and remember one thing, these bears were here long before us.

Bud Womack


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