Would any person appreciate being forcibly relocated to another state as a prelude to being chased and killed? This tenuous thesis was proposed by Jim Ornellas, an admitted wildlife killer-hunter, as his end solution for undesirable human-bear interaction.
The federal government offered an equally spurious approach to the invented scare allegedly posed by all American citizens of Japanese ancestry. In 1942, they were forcibly moved from Pacific coast states, arbitrarily deemed mortal threats to the United States’ security based on the caprice of just two elected officials: President Franklin Roosevelt and California Governor Earl Warren. Stripped of their property and livelihoods, these citizens lived in distant concentration camps for World War II’s duration.
Similarly, we need ask what human being possesses the omniscient wisdom or insight to arbitrarily destroy or manipulate wildlife species. Whether one believes in a single deity or some form of evolution, the awe-inspiring ability of nature to survive over the millennia should foster an unwavering respect in supposedly rational humans. Instead, what we see is an unbridled desire to indiscriminately kill and exploit wildlife people can’t understand. Humans destroy and disturb wildlife habitats, intricate food chains and species for convenience and momentary entertainment, not subsistence.
Wildlife’s biggest threat isn’t other natural predators, but the unnatural ones, i.e., human beings. The long list of extinct wildlife species directly attributed to human exploitation proves that point.
Nevada Wildlife Commission-approved killing of bears has occurred for three years in a row without credible science or population numbers justifying the unnecessary slaughter of 39 bears to date. (The estimated Nevada bear population is between 400 and 700, a statistical chasm.) Shockingly, the commission contracts to kill wildlife species through a sub-agency of the Federal Agriculture department.
The ongoing drought has increased the presence of bears in urbanized areas as they seek food for survival.
We need laws because people won’t always act in a voluntary, prudent manner. Keeping food attractants away from bears will help dissuade them from entering urbanized areas and redirect them to the wilderness.
However, Incline Village, acting alone, will make a slight dent in the urban-bear interactions. The only entity with the regionwide authority to act on mandatory bear-proof trash containers is the Tahoe Regional Planning Authority. Its broadly-applied powers impact all aspects of Lake Tahoe’s environment.
Ranchers and farmers claim they should be able to kill whatever they want on private property. Have we legalized human murder or child-elder abuse on private property? How about exploring non-lethal methods of co-existence with wildlife rather than killing?
It is time to end the Nevada Wildlife Commission and its 17 county boards. These hunter-dominated bodies consistently promote the killing of bears and other wildlife. Gratuitously killing Nevada’s publicly-owned wildlife is not supported by a majority of Nevadans. Between the state departments of Wildlife and Conservation & Natural Resources, professional staff might be willing and able to rebalance the discriminatory practices against wildlife’s existence.