“But the recent feeding (and attempted hugging?) of bears by visitors (which led to park closures impacting residents and guests alike) leads me to believe that the TDA (a group that takes credit for bringing 12 million guests to our region each year) should assume some responsibility for safeguarding guests, as well as impacted residents.”
On Dec. 30, the nonprofit completed the purchase of 34 acres in Brevard to expand the preserve. The new land will bolster the existing 395-acre park, owned by the city of Brevard, which connects to the Pisgah National Forest.
The land, purchased by Conserving Carolina, falls roughly halfway between the current Island Ford and Hap Simpson Park access points, which are separated by nearly 10 miles of river. Morrow Landing’s placement will therefore facilitate shorter trips by less experienced river users and improve access for emergency responders.
Critics of the rule change dispute that the bear population is growing uncontrollably. And they particularly oppose one of the hunting methods: using dogs to chase a bear to corner the animal, or chase it up a tree, and then it is shot.
In fiscal year 2019-20, the most recent year for which data is available, the city emitted the equivalent of roughly 18,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide. Its target for the year was approximately 15,600 metric tons of CO2, about 15% less than the actual figure.
For many Asheville residents, seeing a bear at their trash can is a bucket-list item, the pinnacle of mountain living. But as exciting as a bear sighting can be, interactions with the furry, four-legged natives can quickly spell problems for bears and humans alike.
On Nov. 10, Asheville City Council authorized the city’s sanitation division to purchase 340 bear-resistant trash carts for customers to rent on a first-come, first-served basis.
Municipal officials, wildlife experts and WNC residents talk bear-resistant trash cans, bird feeders and educational initiatives designed to protect citizens and wildlife living in close proximity to each other.