To the Editor:

As a former resident of Joseph, I was disturbed by recent news when several bears from Tualatin and the Portland/Vancouver areas were TRAPPED AND RELOCATED. One bear in particular was in Tualatin on the other side of a fence at an elementary school(!) and the others in residential neighborhoods. Within the day of discovering the bears, they were caught.  

What troubled me was the recent killing of a young bear by Mr. Woodin at Wallowa Lake in a NO-SHOOTING area. That bear had been rummaging in the area for approximately two weeks. ODFW had placed two traps then and had planned to place more but didn’t get around to it and the young bear was subsequently killed.

 Why is it that many of the people in Wallowa County have this “kill wildlife” reasoning and felt the necessity to kill this bear and, most recently the  young wolves that were trapped in the county and subsequently killed? Yes, I understand the damage when livestock is killed that something needs to be done. What perplexes me is why they are not trapped and relocated to the appropriate areas, away from people and livestock as was done with the Portland/Vancouver area bears. 

That bear killing could also have been prevented in those residential, park and mountainous areas by locking up all garbage in bear-proof locations and to be careful to place attractants, such as pet food and bird seed inside their homes rather than outside. Spring is the time when bears, having hibernated all winter, are so hungry that they’re tempted to go after garbage, and this spring is so late the bears are having trouble finding food in the mountains. When food becomes more available in the mountains, the bears will go back there.

 Cathy Quistgard


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