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Why not ship problem Tahoe bears to remote Nevada ranges?

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Why not ship problem Tahoe bears to remote Nevada ranges?

Postby ERIC » Mon Nov 16, 2015 9:25 pm

Why not ship problem Tahoe bears to remote Nevada ranges?

Benjamin Spillman, bspillman@rgj.com
4:44 p.m. PST November 16, 2015
http://www.rgj.com/story/life/outdoors/ ... /75900788/


Ask the RGJ is a regular feature in which RGJ journalists seek answers to readers' burning questions.

Nevada is a big state.

It also has a bunch of bears crammed into a relatively small area, mostly in and around the Lake Tahoe Basin.

Tranberg said it might help reduce bear-human conflicts in the Tahoe Basin and make it less likely that problem bears NDOW does move will return.

It sounds like an elegant solution to a persistent problem.

Unfortunately, it’s unlikely to ever happen. The list of reasons is political and biological, said NDOW spokesman Chris Healy.

First, the political.

NDOW is governed by the Nevada Wildlife Commission, which would need to sign off on a big policy change such as a decision to export bears to the hinterlands.

A bear-moving proposal would likely generate intense opposition from local residents and officials in the counties where the bears would be released.

Introducing wildlife classified as predators to areas where they’re rare is unpopular for a couple reasons. One, ranchers and farmers probably wouldn’t like the idea of bears lurking around their livestock.

Two, residents probably wouldn’t like the idea of bears that have become habituated to people in the Lake Tahoe area rummaging around their communities.

While NDOW does move problem bears, they keep them within areas that are already supporting bear populations, Healy said. In Nevada releases of captured bears generally occur on-site or in the Carson, Pine Nut and Sweetwater ranges.

There are also biological reasons to avoid shipping bears to remote parts of Nevada in order to reduce human-bear conflicts in the Lake Tahoe area.

Even if NDOW had approval to move the bears Healy said new bears would move in to replace them. That would leave roughly the same number of bears in the Tahoe area and new populations of bears getting started in areas that aren’t accustomed to having them around.

The bottom line? The notion of moving Sierra Nevada surplus bears into remote regions that don’t have sustained populations but could support them sounds appealing at first.

But when you dig into the reality of the science and politics of wildlife management it turns out it would be an unlikely and ineffective solution to bear-human conflict issues.

And when you have many bears in areas near lots of people, such as near Lake Tahoe, conflict between bears and people is inevitable.

Vern Tranberg of Mogul wants to know why the Nevada Department of Wildlife doesn’t take advantage of the state’s abundant open space by relocating bears from the Tahoe region to remote places such as the Monitor and Jarbidge ranges in central and northeastern Nevada.
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Re: Why not ship problem Tahoe bears to remote Nevada ranges

Postby TahoeJeff » Tue Nov 17, 2015 11:01 am

Enough bears in the Jarbidge & Monitor ranges already?
Not enough to eat there for the bears?
Excessive cost to transport bears there?
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