Letter: Bear Management | PostIndependent.com

Letter: Bear Management

I read with interest John Stroud’s article in the Oct. 6 issue regarding Glenwood’s increased bear troubles this year — possibly exceeding even Aspen’s. In the Meeker area, bear sightings, incidents — one sow with cubs had to be destroyed as repeat offenders (very unusual for us) — and hunter reports have increased significantly, too. Many area ranchers believe strongly that increased bear numbers have had a significant impact in reducing our mule deer numbers. Moffat County sheep ranchers report losses 100 times greater than they were 15 years ago. Compensation for these losses is paid by deer and elk hunting license fees.

I was especially struck by the suggestion made in the article by Glenwood City Councilman Steve Bershenyi that state officials seek to repeal Amendment 10 passed by voters in 1992. The amendment was initiated by the Sierra Club. The measure eliminated the spring bear hunt, which was a more effective and better targeted method of bear harvest. At that time, wildlife conservation groups such as the Colorado Wildlife Federation opposed the amendment.

As Bershenyi was quoted, he would rather see bear numbers controlled through spring bear hunts than by euthanization when they get into trouble in town. I couldn’t agree more. Our state representative Bob Rankin, R-Glenwood Springs, should take this up as a direct action by the state Legislature. Tell him so. Times have changed.

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