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Rattlesnake: Bears part of the wildness of area

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I am tired of hearing the constant complaints and sad consequences regarding black bears. I moved to the Upper Rattlesnake area because of its unique and desirable mix of convenience and wildness. I'd have chosen to live closer to town if I were afraid of wildlife, or unwilling to do what was necessary to limit negative consequences.

Did the complainers not realize there were bears here? Why are so many frantically calling Fish, Wildlife and Parks? It seems trapping and killing bears is occurring at an alarming rate and I'm wondering why FWP is so readily responding to these complaints in this manner. Is this really "wildlife management" or people-pleasing?

Obviously the problem is not bears but people. It seems that for some it is too much trouble to secure garbage, pet food, birdseed, chickens and garage doors. How sad to read that a grizzly sow and cubs will now spend the rest of their lives in a zoo because a Ronan man refused to secure his chickens.

This picture needs to change. We can't change the fact that bears are always looking for food. But instead of killing bears, shouldn't we focus on changing people's behavior? Maybe the only way to do that is by fining the people who are causing the problems.

I think living among bears is a privilege and do not want FWP or hunters eliminating them in the Rattlesnake. You may not care, or may think bears were put on earth for your enjoyment to hunt and kill. I can only hope bear hunters heading into the woods will make sure there isn't a cub trailing behind before firing that fatal shot. The cubs I've seen lately are far too young to make it on their own.

Let's keep some wildness in the Upper Rattlesnake.

Diane DeCaro, Missoula

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