As I write, helicopters and planes are flying grids over town and the outskirts, searching for the responsible bear. During all the commotion, I heard a rifle shot this morning along my property line; evidently someone shooting a bear out of season, simply because he could, given the current circumstances. While I completely recognize the purpose of euthanizing the responsible grizzly, it feels like an outright war on all bears and predators today.
We need to recognize that most of us choose to live here not because of a mild and generous climate, excellent jobs or productive topsoil; but because of our love for wild places and wild creatures. We locals may take it for granted, but many of our visitors and tourists come here specifically because of the opportunity to recreate on the wild and public lands in our valley, and to experience the wildlife that live here.
We need to take care of each other, and respect one another; including our visitors and our animal neighbors. Please, let’s not turn this into a political stunt. We stand to learn valuable lessons from this terrible experience, and stay strong.