I take issue with the condescending letters to Ms. [Allison] Frank concerning the bears in Asheville [Frank’s letter, “Sounding the Alarm About Town Bears,” appeared in the Aug. 1 Xpress]. In the summer, I see plenty of bears at least twice a week in my driveway and yard in Riceville — moms, cubs and males young and old. They are awesome and sacred creatures that I greatly admire. However, there are way too many of them to continue safely interacting with humans.
My understanding is there are at least twice as many bears in the area now compared to the era of the first pioneer settlers. The bears have overpopulated themselves by living off the products and protections of humans. Young children do not have the caution to deal with bear encounters in a “correct” manner, and I fear one day a child will suffer terribly for this. Some bears are aggressive rogues and some are hyperprotective mothers.
Humans are here and are not going away. Human life is more precious than the lives of bears. The current bear population is crowding itself in an unnatural manner and is becoming dependent on food from interaction with human society. Bears are losing their wariness of humans. This is not good for the future of bears. They need to be thinned out by removal, sterilization, extended hunting season or whatever is appropriate in order for the bear population to remain healthy and the human population to remain safe. It’s common sense.
— Marc Mandon