Letter: Bears have no value

Posted: Friday, June 29, 2001

What a tempest is brewing in our town, with specialists stridently proclaiming the latest in bear management, experts yearning to make the front page with their pronouncements, noted authorities issuing tome-like proclamations and ad hoc committees giving somber advice, as though the general public was some brainless mass! Any day now we should be getting little booklets on to conduct ourselves in the presence of bears and other sundry varmints. I'm sure they feel that their bulletins raise the excitement level to fever pitch. Well, all this has been met with some prodigious yawns and ho-hums until, that is until Mr. Personett established new civil law with the statement that, "Bears are more important than property." That should be a wake-up call to everyone, that you must relinquish home and hearth and the baby to an invading bruin. Bears now function a much higher plane, and are endowed with the same constitutional guarantees as ourselves: life, liberty and the pursuit of your humming bird feeder. Now that smelly creature skulking around in your back yard wanting to play dodge ball with your dog, or add a dash of spice to your cat, or maybe take a swat at one of your kids running home after dark, is being deified. Of course animal rights wackos and budding bear huggers feel these beasts are just another form of human. What we may well be seeing is the growth of bureaucracy, an insidious, formless mass that emerges sprouting offices and agencies with burgeoning tax dollar budgets, all wanting desperately to protect you from yourself. Or perhaps the long range plan is for the bear population to increase ten fold so Gray Line and assorted "guides" can form conga lines of tourists tinkling their little bells and rattling their noise makers as they tip toe through your sweet peas and peek up your alley! Maybe they will want to take pictures of your three hundred dollar trash cans.

Bears are without virtue or any redeeming social value. Not only are they hazardous to your health, but their stools are black and tarry. Years ago we shot the excess and gave the meat to charities. That's still a logical solution.

There are 69 million bird watchers in this great land, and exactly seven bear huggers. Birders unite. You are close to being regulated out of existence.

Tom Cunningham

Juneau



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