Opinion: Disgusted with NDOW’s handling of latest bear incident | SierraSun.com

Opinion: Disgusted with NDOW’s handling of latest bear incident

EDITOR’S NOTE: This letter was submitted on May 14. The trap referenced within has since been removed, sans a bear inside.

For nearly a week, there has been a bear trap set on Lakeshore Drive in Incline. A trap requires a team of game wardens, technicians and sheriff’s deputies to deployed, maintain, monitor, transport, release or kill the bear; at a cost $15,000.

There is also a court hearing set for May 27, perhaps increasing the cost to Nevada taxpayers. The targeted bear did about $100 worth of damage, and the property is worth $10 million.

A more logical response by the Department of Wildlife would have been to educate the homeowner. The solution universally recommended by bear experts is to use bear-resistant trash enclosures. One manufacturer offered this owner a bin at their cost with free installation, and IVGID offers a rebate. The net cost would have been $500. I expect a former Republican senator to have more financial sense.

But NDOW is really to blame for this extravagant waste of our money, made more egregious because trapping doesn’t work. Either the relocated bear returns or another moves in to fill the void.

And a new bear could be less docile than the resident bear is known to be. Thus, not only doesn’t trapping work, it can make matters worse. Something well established in the literature.

This is government at its worst: institutional incompetence coupled with callous disregard for the taxpayers.

Mark Smith

Incline Village