Kohl: We can do better for bears
After attending the most recent public meeting about bears in our community, we hope that there are three resolves that community members and visitors to our community will be willing to make:
- Change the focus of the dialogue from blaming others (people and organizations) to developing momentum for each of us to commit to change our social behaviors with respect to trash and artificial food lures. We have power and control over our personal decisions and we can be pro-active and protect the wildlife that we are lucky enough to live around.
- That as a community, we will each support the work done by local governments and agencies tasked to protect us. That means we follow local ordinances meant to keep us safe and accept any negative consequences of our poor behavior. It might also mean that we help, perhaps gently teach our visitors why we want to abide by local ordinances and avoid negative human-bear interactions.
- That as individuals our personal actions become more aligned to BearAware educational suggestions. If you don’t know, ask. If you are learning, share with others so that they can know. If you are already a “pro,” volunteer your time, energy and/or resources to grassroot efforts like RoaringForkBears.org (we are locals with boots on the ground) that are working to make a difference.
With a little effort we can live in harmony with all the wildlife that surrounds us in the community. Our knowledge is power and can be used to co-exist peacefully with our beautiful bears.