Paul Wellman: Steamboat could lead the way
This letter is in response to the Steamboat Today April 28 article, “Trash issue bears scrutiny,” by Matt Stensland.
A letter to the editor I wrote to Rick Carroll of the Aspen Times was published a couple years ago after watching the crazy scene in Aspen with bears and garbage.
I wrote basically the same letter to the editor to the Steamboat Today a short time ago in response to an article they put out on the issue.
It amazes me that this is looked at as an issue that can somehow be solved by creating garbage containers bears can’t get into. In my mind this is a very short-sighted solution.
The real issue is not baiting the poor bears and inciting them to do battle with trash containers. This leaves the ultimate problem with this totally unaddressed.
Bears and humans and other animals do not mix well. Enticing them down out of the woods to play with trash cans is insane.
Problems will always arise. Officers will still be called to deal with bears pushing containers down the street trying to take them home. Bears that resist being shooed away will be shot or deported.
People and other animals will always be at risk of confrontation with grumpy, frustrated bears.
The only real solution I can see is to remove the goodies they are after from the containers.
It would be cheaper and much safer for all involved. Plus, you would do the environment and community a favor by using all of this perfectly good compostable material from the landfill.
This should really be brought up and explored before you get too far down the rabbit hole of lockdown — stronger trash containers.
Rick Carroll thought it was a great idea. There has been no good progress in Aspen.
Maybe Steamboat could lead the way?
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