Opinion: It’s time NDOW was fair to Lake Tahoe’s bears
The North Lake Tahoe Bonanza confirmed the bear deaths referred to in this letter. The deceased bears were reported as “other” in the Nevada Department of Wildlife’s records.
NDOW spokesperson Chris Healy, in defending Nevada’s bear management policies in the Nov. 14 story, “Nevada wildlife official defends bear policies amid Tahoe criticism,” made some glaring omissions.
Mr. Healy forgot to mention that four bears were killed accidentally by NDOW this year. Three died in snare traps, one eaten alive by another animal, waiting for the “researchers” to check the traps; another drowned after being tranquilized by NDOW’s biologist near a body of water.
That bear was translocated from the Tahoe Basin despite not being the target bear.
Ann Bryant of the BEAR League is right that management by death is not popular. Why can Mammoth Lakes, under the bear management of Steve Searles, avoid killing any bears for 30 years, yet in Nevada we call a hungry bear lured by unsecured trash a public safety issue and take his/her life?
It is time NDOW was fair to the bears and improved their handling of research bears, conflict bears and wild bears who are being hunted using barbaric methods that have been outlawed in the majority of states conducting bear hunts.
I share NDOW’s frustration at the lack of effective trash ordinances and enforcement which contribute greatly to the plight of bears.