ALASKA NEEDS TO VALUE ITS LIVE BEARS
Grizzly bears in Alaska, called brown bears, that live around the town of Bethel, population 6,325, should have a good life as they don’t interact with many people. But their future is in peril.
Alaska’s bears have powerful governmental enemies, starting with the state of Alaska. This spring, state wildlife agents in helicopters gunned down 94 brown bears, including cubs. Agents also killed five black bears and five wolves.
Why were these animals destroyed? It was an attempt to eliminate carnivores in a misguided effort to grow a small caribou herd for hunters. By Alaska’s own admission, the aerial gunning went too far. An early assessment by a state biologist said fewer than 25 brown bears would be killed.
For now, in the lower 48 states grizzly bears are protected, though some Western governors and members of Congress support trophy-hunting seasons targeting bears.