Saturday, January 22, 2011

Don’t feed black bears because they are important—I think.

 

There isn’t much news coming out of the New York State Department of Environmental Information (DEC) lately, except this news about not feeding the bears.

Feeding black bears now prohibited statewide” (January 21, 2011) Home - Canandaigua, NY

This is strange because lots of people being have been fired and let go at the DEC lately. There will probably more cuts coming up with the governor’s new job cuts, but little about all that even though the up-and-coming gas drilling will need a lot of DEC personnel to monitor hydrofracking.

So, while black bears are leading their agenda over there at DEC, let’s ask: Why are bears important? Except for harvesting then (shooting them))and taking photos of them, what purpose do bears serve our environment, now that humanity is the top dog in our environment and we’ve killed off most of the bears in NYS? We don’t eat them. There’s not enough of them to make their seed dispersal (via droppings) worth mentioning. So, aren’t they just lucky we’re letting them roam around and produce news stories (last year was filled with bear sightings, see Glut of bear sightings around Rochester, NY - Rochester Environmental News | Examiner.com) anyway?

Of course I’m being facetious, but shouldn’t it also be the role of the DEC to let the public know what role bears play in our environment—besides something magnificent to shoot? Bears help shape what is now our environment, but do they play an important role anymore? If so, what is it?

Not going to find that info here:

Black Bear - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Feeding of Black Bears is Prohibited in New York  "Feeding of Black Bears is Prohibited in New York DEC has adopted a rule prohibiting the deliberate and intentional feeding of black bears. The incidental, indirect feeding of black bears also is unlawful after a written warning has been issued by the department. For details, read the Black Bear Feeding Regulations and the Summary of Public Comment (PDF 347 kB). Learn More about Living With New York Black Bears The recently produced video, "Living with New York Black Bears" explores the history of black bears, the challenges that face New York bear biologists, and how landowners can responsibly and safely share their neighborhood with bears. The video is available at most local libraries, high school and college libraries throughout the State, or at your local DEC regional wildlife office. "

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