In regards to the Outlook's Oct. 14 article on Parks Canada chopping down fruit trees in Field to stop luring hungry bears.
It is understood that wild animals such as black bears in the Bow Valley have the right to sustain themselves. In populated areas such as Canmore and Field, these animals are simply trying to overcome the food shortages they are experiencing within the forest. This year, due to the lack of natural food sources in their environment, the bears are of course wandering into populated areas looking for food.
We need to understand that when we live in areas populated by bears, they will occasionally come into contact with humans. It is us humans that have put up buildings invading their homes. I believe that we have to respect their habitat. I understand that many people have fruit trees in their yards, which is attracting the bears. Many people have been responsible homeowners and have removed the fruit from their trees. I also applaud those people who have agreed to swap out their fruit-bearing trees for other varieties so that the bears don't go into their yards seeking food.
However, wouldn’t it make more sense to look into planting more fruit-bearing plants outside of town in the forest? There is money being spent on Parks Canada employees ‘dissuading’ the bears from entering towns. Certainly relocating bears is a costly, time-consuming venture.
I think that these resources could be better spent on providing more food sources far away from residents of these mountain communities. It is time for positive change. I would be the first one to volunteer to plant fruit-bearing trees and bushes to overcome this problem.