If grizzlies return, should those areas be off-limits?

We’ve all seen the YouTube videos of how the Yellowstone man-beast encounters dramatically played out (“Last man to see grizzly in Cascades says return ‘would be wonderful,” The Herald, April 6.

What is it with us humans that push the boundaries of common sense by cage diving with great white sharks and then are horrified when things play out differently than envisioned? Admit it people. After watching “Jurassic Park” and “Lost World”, how many of you would have bought tickets to go to the opening of Jurassic Park III?

We’ve heard or read about the tragic one-time encounter with a mountain lion or bear that has resulted in the animal being hunted and killed, because it didn’t utilize its superior sense of smell and hearing to avoid the confrontation in the first place, nor react to its decades long evolutionary fear-of-man adaptation to the sight or sound of a hiker by showing it’s rear end as it made tracks in another direction.

Hiking can be a dangerous pastime and not just because of bears. There’s two- to four-legged critters, and all manner of slithering, creepy crawlers out there in the wild that can leave you DRT (dead right there), and that’s not accounting for what Mom Nature can throw at you, or your own unpreparedness, clumsiness or inattention.

I agree with reintroducing grizzlies into the Cascades, but, perhaps those areas where they’re allowed to roam should be off-limits to anyone without a permit from the state and, accompanying professional guide or hunter, with mandatory stiff fines and penalties in the case of violations and poaching. Do we assume that the released bears and their offspring will have tracking collars? Air tags?

Rich Needham


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