Opinion: A different view on the Lake Tahoe bear trap case | SierraSun.com
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Opinion: A different view on the Lake Tahoe bear trap case

Jeff Quinn

Editors Note

According to court documents and trial proceedings regarding the case, while Cheryl and Season Morrison say they thought state wildlife officials set the trap illegally, Judge E. Alan Tiras disagreed.

I would like to try to shed some light on the opposing side of the Incline Village bear trap tampering incident that apparently is being applauded.

The trap was set as a result of laborers repeatedly leaving food out and in unlocked or open trucks after being asked to secure these items. This particular bear was a mother with two cubs in October, right before hibernation. With this type of trap, the mother goes in and the cubs could be cut in half by the guillotine-type door. The trap is baited with cupcakes, cookies, berries or just anything sweet, which can be very enticing to small children and domestic animal, which is a great reason for setting them at least 200 feet from a public roadway.

This trap was set 65 feet from the public street and in plain view on private property without the owners permission. The word “capture” is questionable. The bears were to be destroyed.

Last year, NDOW destroyed 5 out of the 10 bears that were trapped. The statute is NRS 503.580, stating, “unlawful to set trap within 200 feet of a public road or highway.” Doesn’t sound ambiguous to me. It is for the safety of the community.

While spending a lot of time in the area, I have seen curious children enticed by what was inside, as well as family pets. All NDOW had to do was follow their own laws and place the trap in an appropriate location. They still could of trapped and destroyed the bears without putting the community at risk.

Susan Rutledge

El Toro, Calif.


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