Target: NYS Department of Environmental Conservation
Goal: Help protect wild bears by providing public education and stricter laws to discourage the public from feeding the bears.
Greene County, New York, is experiencing what experts are calling a ‘people problem’. The problem is negatively affecting the local bear population. Experts say that citizens purposely and accidentally feeding local bears is causing the animals to become habituated to humans. This is especially dangerous to large, potentially dangerous animals, such as bears, because often times for these animals getting too close to humans can mean a death sentence.
It’s not uncommon for unknowing citizens to purposely feed bears. These people probably think they are helping the animals, when in reality they are doing much more harm than good. Bears who become accustomed to being fed by, and lose their fear of, humans are much more likely to get themselves into trouble. Human-bear conflicts usually lead to the bear in question losing its life. Feeding bears in Greene County is illegal. Citizens found to be breaking this law first receive a warning, and than a ticket and fine for each additional offense.
Not all people who are part of the problem are feeding the bears on purpose. To a hungry bear, litter or trash left unsecured outside looks just as tasty as a meal placed out for them on purpose. Bears are smart animals and can get creative when it comes to finding ways to get food. However, it’s up to humans to be smarter than the bears and to find ways to discourage the animals from getting into trash. There are many companies who offer bear proof trash and recycling bins. Campers, hikers, and citizens who live in bear populated areas should be aware of how they store their trash and avoid littering.
By signing this petition, you are asking the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to take steps to help protect wild bears. Ask it to develop educational programs that teach citizens who live within bear territory how to responsibly behave around these animals. Harsher penalties for people who feed bears, do not properly contain trash, and/or litter should also be developed. Protecting our natural ecosystem and the animals that live in it is very important. Bears are normally harmless animals, but human interference can cause them to become a nuisance. Nuisance bears are often times trapped and euthanized due to the danger they present to humans. The human population is becoming larger and larger, leaving less room for wildlife. It’s important that we learn how to live safely near our wild neighbors if we want to continue to live in a world that has any wild animals left.
Dear NYS Department of Environmental Conservation,
As I’m sure you are already well aware, the state of New York experiences high numbers of nuisance bears. Many of these animals have become habituated to humans due to humans, accidentally and purposely, feeding them. Through no fault of their own, bears are taught to view humans and humans’ environments as a source of food. This causes the bears to become more likely to invade residential areas, where they are commonly trapped and euthanized.
Bears have just as much of a right to live in New York as humans do. The issues often times leading to their deaths are caused by humans, and it is unfair to the bears. It’s up to humans to proactively prevent bears from learning to think of us as a food source. Please consider new educational programs that will teach citizens how to live in harmony with bears. Also, instituting new, harsher, penalties for people who break the law and purposely feed bears or litter is important.
[Your Name Here]