Letter: On Columbus and the bears
On Columbus and the bears
Sometimes I really do feel that the air up here is way too thin for some people. Wednesday’s article on the county’s choices of what to do with bears feasting off of the landfill who now accepts people’s food scraps was quite scary.
First and foremost, what part of any of us moving into bear country did you not understand when you moved here? Like Columbus before us, who claimed he discovered America and forgot to mention the few million natives living here who were later killed or displaced from their native land, we just don’t seem to learn our history lessons too well.
Just as the debate raged within the last year over gun control after the mass shootings, one has to realize the problem is not guns, just like it’s not the bears. The problem, my dearest human companions, is us (us as is you and me and us as in the U.S.). We seem to have no problem limiting others’ freedom, liberties or boundaries, but we do seem to have a huge problem limiting our own.
As a former columnist for more than two years with the Aspen Daily News, I wrote weekly about our attempts to control nature rather than control ourselves. And as of my last highly debated and controversial bear article some years back, apparently our awareness and evolution over the bear debate has not evolved much. To the best of my knowledge, Kevin Wright’s job with Parks and Wildlife is to protect wildlife, not protect humans from wildlife. I have met Kevin and he is a really nice guy, but his suggestion of issuing tags and bringing in “skilled hunters” to kill animals that have no issue with people who have stolen their land and are now setting them up to be killed due to their own human arrogance and ignorance is just too similar to what Columbus did years ago, and that has not ended well.
If we are going to create the problem, then it is up to us to fix it. Perhaps in terms of an electrified fence you have every jet owner, restaurant owner, summer-time resident, hotel, and purchaser of catered affairs contribute an extra fee each summer — perhaps on a sliding scale starting at $350 each for all of the excess food that gets dumped in the summer in the landfill. That will pay for the fencing. This way, no bears need to get killed for something that is totally not their fault, the county can’t say they don’t have the money, and humans can actually start taking responsible stewardship over the land that they have stolen from the bears and leave them and their families intact. If you don’t want to see bears, perhaps you should not live in bear country.
On behalf of the bears and myself, I ask you to make the only honorable choice. Bears should not have to die because people are irresponsible and over consume everything — including bear habit.
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User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
I express my concern about Pitkin County commissioner and chair of Pitkin’s Board of Health Greg Poschman’s statement at the Jan.13, 2022, Board of Health meeting.