In response to Allison Frank’s letter about “doing something” about the bears in her Grove Park neighborhood in the Aug. 1 edition [Xpress, “Sounding the Alarm About Town Bears”]:
Dear Ms. Frank,
Did it ever occur to you that overpopulation of people is the problem to most bear encounters here in Asheville? Humans are encroaching on bears’ habitats and are creating less and less wilderness for them to live and forage for food. It’s the overpopulation of Asheville that is the problem.
Yes, they are a nuisance when they get into our garbage, but they are just trying to survive in man’s world. I feel sorry for them. They are generally terrified of people and not a threat unless you threaten them. If people moving here don’t want to have occasional bear encounters, then move somewhere “more civilized.” There is always downtown — or maybe Charlotte, Winston-Salem — Miami?
The way Asheville and the world’s population is growing, the bears, sadly, may soon be a thing of the past.
— Ellen Foltz