Thursday, March 10, 2005

Tahoe Torment

Political Correctness appears to reign in Tahoe as well (OK, that shouldn't really be too much of a surprise).

However, if you have to choose between your safety and rampaging bears, are you really going to let a bear munch on you?

My wife communicates occasionally with Ann Bryant, executive director of Lake Tahoe’s BEAR League, to learn how to make our home bear-safe, etc. Her comments seem to me reasonable.

What is missing from the AP Story (when it comes to what the AP doesn't say, what else is new) is what other options did the homeowners have?

If a bear is living under your house, and the state cannot protect your property and family's safety, any reasonable person would take measures of protection.

It would be interesting to find out what options do exist.

It is my understanding the state nor other agencies relocate bears -- they shoot them.



Wife (aka Mrs. Sanity) has updated me on several fronts:

1) This family did not undertake some obvious bear-safe best practices -- see below.
2) One part of the hunters' story that didn't ring true to me (and Mrs. Sanity agrees), was the hunters' claim that the "bears" charged them. Mama Bear, sure, but the article says the hunters claimed the "bears" charged, not "bear."

I'm glad we talk with the BEAR league, and have learned some common-sense bear-safe practices.

1) Use ammonia around windows or doors that might lead bears to food sources, e.g. kitchen or garbage in a garage. We have even used ammonia around our garbage cans when outdoors (before we bought and installed our bear-safe garbage container) and it worked wonders -- garbage did not get strewn all over the neighborhood overnight like it did before we used ammonia. Ammonia is not fail-safe, but bears do not like it (hey, even I don't like to sniff the stuff!).
2) Have a noise-maker handy for the possibility that a bear may invite itself into your home. Mrs. Sanity keeps a boat horn next to the bed for such an eventuality (we also have a home alarm which would frighten off any would-be visitors).

In the end, some common-sense tactics would have saved the family the torment as well as the cost of the hunters (were the hunters friends giving bad advice?).

To be clear, this does not in any way excuse any alleged vandalism.

Vandals deserve some time before a judge.

Unfortunately, the home owners and/or hunters may as well.


Mrs. Sanity updates that the BEAR League is training volunteers to help in the removal of bears from delicate situations.

Shooting is not, and should not be, the first option.

Unless, of course (and not to be foolish), someone's life is in immediate danger. But those instances are very rare with black bears. The bears are looking for food, and people aren't food.

We not talking Montana grizzlies here.


More information on the Tahoe BEAR League.