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Grizzly bears, black bears, wolves, coyotes, cougars/ mountain lions,bobcats, wolverines, lynx, foxes, fishers and martens are the suite of carnivores that originally inhabited North America after the Pleistocene extinctions. This site invites research, commentary, point/counterpoint on that suite of native animals (predator and prey) that inhabited The Americas circa 1500-at the initial point of European exploration and subsequent colonization. Landscape ecology, journal accounts of explorers and frontiersmen, genetic evaluations of museum animals, peer reviewed 20th and 21st century research on various aspects of our "Wild America" as well as subjective commentary from expert and layman alike. All of the above being revealed and discussed with the underlying goal of one day seeing our Continent rewilded.....Where big enough swaths of open space exist with connective corridors to other large forest, meadow, mountain, valley, prairie, desert and chaparral wildlands.....Thereby enabling all of our historic fauna, including man, to live in a sustainable and healthy environment. - Blogger Rick

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

There is no such thing as "clean oil" or clean coal" or clean "fracked" natural gas",,,,,,,,,,,,,or clean windtowers or clean solar panels................All involve habitat destruction, road building, pipelines that splinter wildlife habitat and habituate wild animals to human installations............The 145 Black Bears killed in and around the Alberta, Canada Tar Sands mining region was 3X the number ever killed in this region previously............Improper storage of food, garbage and other attractants doomed the Bears to an early grave...........There is no getting around the fact that we are going to have to ask our Scientists and Engineers to truly think outside the box to develop alternative energies that are truly clean-----meaning no extraction from the earth,,,,,,,,,,,no infrastructure blighting the earth and no residual by-product from usage...............An impossible ask of our "best and brightest?"

Wildlife officers shoot 145 black bears in oilsands region

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development says 145 black bears were killed by Fish and Wildlife conservation officers last year after being habituated to garbage in the oilsands region.

Alberta Sustainable Resource Development says 145 black bears were killed by Fish and Wildlife conservation officers last year after being habituated to garbage in the oilsands region.


EDMONTON — Alberta Sustainable Resource Development says 145 black bears were killed by Fish and Wildlife conservation officers last year after being habituated to garbage in the oilsands region.

The number of bears shot in the Fort McMurray district was nearly three times the count the previous year and the highest in recent history, said spokesman Darcy Whiteside.Nearly half — 68 bears — were shot in oilsands camps and facilities after being attracted to the camp by food, garbage or other attractants, Whiteside said Tuesday.Another 51 were shot on residential properties.

No individual or company was charged with improper storage of food or other attractants, Whiteside said.Environment and wildlife conservation groups were outraged by the number of black bear killings. They immediately blamed the deaths on lax garbage management and a lack of proper monitoring and regulation by the provincial government.

"It's a very disturbing fact to hear and it's one more cost of oilsands development that we need to look at," said Mike Hudema of Greenpeace."The fact that these numbers are so high is definitely very worrying," Hudema said.

Alberta Wilderness Association conservation specialist Carolyn Campbell said it suggests Albertans are far from using best practices "or even a modern attitude" toward wildlife management.
"There needs to be much more responsible behaviour by companies running these camps to really get serious about reducing food and other attractants. . . . The attitude of 'attract them, feed them and then shoot' them is really repugnant to most Albertans."

Campbell said there should be tighter regulation of the camps, there should be more inspections and there should be stiff penalties when infractions are detected.
"Right now, it seems a lot of infractions are being tolerated."
Campbell and other conservation advocates said they had hoped the uproar over the shooting of 12 bears at a dump in Conklin in 2009 would have alerted Sustainable Resource Development, oilsands companies and residents of the tragic consequences of improper garbage control.

"There are dumps that are still not secured against bears," she said.
"This reflects a really primitive attitude that most Albertans assume had been corrected and fixed, but it hasn't. For us to still be blatantly mismanaging garbage, food and other attractants really reflects that we're still in kind of a backwards attitude toward wildlife."
Whiteside said there were 530 bear occurrences in the district in 2011, up from 285 in 2010 when 52 bears were shot.

He said the record high 145 shootings can be linked to a berry crop failure which sent bears looking for other food sources. He said 121 bears were euthanized in August alone.
"While it is unfortunate, we do have a very healthy black bear population in our province," he said. "We have an estimated 40,000 black bears, so this had no impact on the black bear population as a whole."
The province has stepped up its Bear Smart program, which educates Albertans and companies operating in bear country about how to manage their garbage and other attractants, he said.

"There are camps that are better than others," Whiteside said. "It's something we're working toward."
Last fall, a worker at a camp near Suncor's Firebag site complained about bears breaking into the sleeping quarters and camp kitchen. Kevin Kiddie told Fort McMurray Today he feared someone would be killed going to the bathroom at night by the marauding bears.

Travis Davies, a spokesman for the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, called the bear killings "very unfortunate.""Any kind of wildlife fatality is too many for these companies from their perspective and obviously they take it seriously," he said. "It's just a matter of a high number of bears in the area."He said many companies working in the oilsands have policies in place to store garbage in bear-proof containers that are regularly inspected and to monitor critical areas that might attract bears.
Conrad Fennema, president of the Alberta Fish and Game Association, said he believes the shootings were necessary to protect people from hungry bears."If they are doing it to protect people, I don't have a problem with that."

He said as the population of the province grows and people infringe more into bear territory there are bound to be confrontations."Can we stand in the way of progress? No, but it is not as though they are an endangered species."

Jim Pissot, executive director of the WildCanada Conservation Alliance, blamed the provincial Conservative government and private industry for failing to learn from the Conklin situation.
"I think this province needs a massive change of heart," he said. "The international community is outraged over what they know about the negative impacts of tarsands development. When they find out about the number of wolves, caribou, grizzly bears and black bears sacrificed to reckless resource development in this province, they will be even more outraged."

The oilsands came under the international spotlight over another wildlife incident in 2008 when 1,600 ducks perished in a tailings pond. Syncrude was fined $3 million after being found guilty of failing to take adequate measures to deter the ducks.

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