Letter to the Editor: Educate neighbors about being bear aware
In response to Jack Kashtan’s letter in last Wednesday’s Sierra Sun chastising the naming of bears, I wish to express a different point of view.
Whether I name my neighborhood bear or not, calling it “Fluffy” or “Sneezy” has nothing to do with my ability to stand “big” and bang a metal pot with a wooden spoon while yelling at the top of my lungs: ”Fluffy go home!”
Yelling “angrily” has nothing to do with the success of encouraging our bear neighbors to return to the forest where they should live happily ever after. Making a lot of noise and yelling at the top of your lungs does not have to be done in anger. We can still love our bears while sending them back home.
Naming the bears has everything to do with marketing. The BEAR League does a terrific job educating people about bears and teaching people how to coexist with them. But that all comes at a cost. “Personalizing” the bears makes people want to donate to further the cause.
Also, naming the bears is a way the BEAR League can keep track of them and garner help from citizens with the important task of monitoring bear activity.
You can do your part by educating your neighbors about proper garbage disposal, keeping their doors and windows locked and shuttered when not home, curtains closed, and not leaving a pie on the counter to cool near an open window while they go to the beach.
Yes, it’s been done — and then wonder why a bear broke into their house.
Naming bears does not foster unwanted bear activity, access to garbage does.
And, when you see a bear, enjoy the sight with wonderment, keep your distance, especially if there are cubs around, and make a lot of noise — nicely, without anger.