November 25, 2007

The Bear in Your Garbage Can/Garage/Playing Field

Focusing on the Canadian resort community of Whistler, BC, a New York Times piece discusses bear-human conflicts.

With less bear-hunting and more people wanting to living the woods, "user conflicts" are rising.

At the turn of the last century, if people felt the call of the wild, they’d take the train perhaps to Banff, where they’d soak in a hot spring and never venture much beyond the front canopy of the Banff Springs Hotel. Now remote canyons and mountain meadows are thick with residential and recreational use. In Whistler, even the paint-ball games for kids take place on a field that happens to be in the middle of a flood plain. As soon as the air-horn starts the competition, bears come out of the nearby woods with their great, lumbering, hip-swaying strides to graze the paint balls with a bovine indifference to the gleeful splattered children running this way and that.

It's a thoughtful piece and worth reading for going beyond the cliches.

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