Lorinne Anderson wrote:
The Bear Aware programs are the only logical way forward, long term, particularly long term, in my opinion. The truth is, this is a people problem, NOT an animal problem, in my opinion.
With all due respect, while it's possible to be both truth and opinion, I'm thinking its mostly opinion but I honestly get your point, and largely I agree with this opinion and share it, and I understand your reservations and arguments about my idea fully and completely. And I sympathize with your way of thinking. I'm trying to think outside of that box of our shared opinion so that I can address the fact that human disruption exists on a scale on this planet at this time in ways that are unprecedented. There are so many ways in which humans disrupt bear habitat and behavior that are not covered in Bear Aware that need to be addressed before Bear Aware is going to be The Answer. So much needs to change about our other management decisions to really make Bear Aware as effective as it should be. Bears are creatures of habit just as we are. We actually have a great deal in common. I understand the habitual nature of bears and that they can get a scent from an incredible distance. There are many things that we can do to help or change the situation favorably.
The truth is, this is a people problem, NOT an animal problem, in my opinion.
So here's a spur on this idea with mine. Take a very large and somewhat near clear-cut area outside of town but near enough to town that it acts as both a lure toward town and away from it at the same time and turn it into a very diverse orchard, fenced off for a few years to get it really happening, and productive. It could be 1/4 stocked with super dwarf trees grafted with fast fruiting varieties to start with to get the area productive faster. Then basically cell-graze the bears with strongly built and properly maintained electrified fences, allowing them access from a central path system, only opening enough so that they are not competing too much territorially within the area, but so that they are also not needing to come to town because the food scent and source is much stronger here, and there is no lack of abundance. Humans could harvest in bear excluded areas of the orchard as well as be hired or volunteer to gather wind-throws or damaged fruit to dump in bear inclusion zones. Again, large stands could be built to safely and selectively cull the population if it begins to expand too much because of the steady food source, and the cell that is available can be adjusted in size to decrease or increase food area availability depending on the needs of the bear community(depending on how hungry (skinny) they are), or whether the population explodes to the point that the people are equipped or staffed to fully deal with a larger cull.
Plant more, in hopes they can't eat it all? (and hope your place doesn't become bear Mecca)
Maybe plant more, but not in your zone 1... maybe out beyond your zone 5... or somewhere wild to lure them elsewhere? (not suggesting trespass or planting closer to someone else, although if someone else's hunting reduced the local bear population for you...)
Yes. I agree. ;)
Roberto: we agree on so much
I would suggest ( and I think I did somewhere in my overly wordy posts! ) that the community agrees to not have fruit trees on individual plots of land but to have an extensive community-run food forest/orchard (most local trees that already exist could all be removed and transplanted with an industrial tree spade), and as mentioned at the end of my last post this large orchard could (probably should) be outside of town and could also be 'shared' by the bears; This latter would be accomplished if it was large enough to cordon off areas with proper high voltage electric fencing for cell grazing. The problem: Fruit trees attract bears, becomes the solution, Fruit orchard outside of town attracts bear to hang out away from town.
I guess my deviation is when dealing with encouraging a "bait" site. I find it hard to believe they will stick with what is "offered" and eshew the local garbage day, compost piles and fruit trees...