No more land of plenty

Posted: Thursday, September 27, 2001

Grandchild of the Brown Bear speaks:

I recently got a warning from the City of Juneau to make my garbage cans impossible for bears to invade. Indeed, the bears have come to the city of Juneau, once the land of forebears. A few hundred yards upstream from my home is a fish pond, and a huge tree that is well-scratched from years of claw sharpening and back rubbing by the local bears, marks their territory.

Various industries have adversely impacted the bears' primary food - the salmon they need before hibernation. We have claimed their areas, upsetting their years of use and inhabitance.

The bear's "land of plenty" is now impoverished. Finding the fish streams an empty cupboard, their whole family is out searching for food. They are not asking, but we have the answer.

All the city of Juneau and others should donate to our bears' food bank.

The Juneau Borough Assembly, assisted by the Alaska Department of Fish & Game, should establish the Bears' Food Bank, designate bears feeding areas, and plan for next season.

In the near future this may become, with the appropriate developments, Juneau's open zoo.

Lastly, I offer my help, perhaps as the honorary chairman. (My maternal grandfather was a member of the Teikweidi - Brown Bear - Clan of the Tlingit Nation.) This may be, however, a conflict of interest.

Dr. Walter A. Soboleff Sr.


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