Target: Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency Gina McCarthy
Goal: Provide coexistence education classes for citizens that live in bear country
The headline ‘seven bear attacks in seven days’ has recently rattled the country. While bears do not normally kill people, this amount of attacks across the country, in such a short time span, is enough to cause alarm and raise questions in regards to human safety. The human population is growing and urban sprawl is gaining mileage by the minute. Those who are taking up residence among these magnificent beasts must learn how to properly live with them.
The human population is encroaching upon lands that wild animals once had all for themselves. A functional coexistence with these animals is possible with the proper mandatory education. Hikers who knowingly go into bear territory, such as those that hike Yellowstone National Park, hike prepared and alert for a bear encounter. Most hikers will walk in pairs and stay vocal, and some carry bear mace meant to dissuade a bear from bothering with you. Those who live in bear country may become comfortable and unaware of their surroundings. The solution to this problem is not to wait for an attack, hunt for the supposed violent bear, kill it and then become afraid of bears. The answer is education.
Those who wish to live in bear country should be required to attend community meetings, consisting of facts and information. An ideal meeting, held a few times a month to fit every person’s schedule, would address points such as: always travel in a pair or group when commuting by foot; stay vocal and alert, as well as prepared in case of an encounter; keep trash locked and food stored safely; in the case of an encounter understand the effects and proper usage of bear mace, or how to discourage the bear with just your movement or tone. These meetings would be very beneficial for people living in bear country; they would keep the reality of a bear encounter at the forefront of residents’ minds and encourage appropriate behavior.
These mandatory meetings would not only help people, they would help the bears. Bears are necessary for the ecosystems of the areas they inhabit. Killing them should be avoided and people should be educated on bear safety in order to live with bears peacefully. Sign this petition to make these education sessions a reality and help residents and bears everywhere.
Dear Gina McCarthy, Administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency,
There has been a recent string of bear attacks that have left many people afraid and unsure of bears. While this fear is justified, it is preventable. I am writing to ask that you implement mandatory bear safety and coexistence education classes for residents around the country who live in bear territory.
These classes would be provided by the area’s local environmental groups, by schools, community centers, etc. There are many efficient ways to reach a large portion of the bear country population in question. These classes would cover important topics necessary to coexisting safely with bears.
Urban sprawl is bringing the human population into lands that were once solely inhabited by wild animals. Because of this, encounters are becoming more common. It is my strong opinion that we must learn to coexist with these animals and learn from them. Killing them or waiting for an attack are not the answers; bears provide many benefits to their surroundings.
Administrator McCarthy, please consider implementing mandatory bear education classes for citizens living in bear country. These classes could save the lives of humans and bears alike.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Tahoe Bears via Flickr