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Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

4 Responses to Bear vs. bike: Montana teacher riding to school runs into bruin

  1. avatar Chuck Parker says:

    Darwin award for science teacher? This guy violated all the safety rules for bear country. He was traveling solo, not in a group. He was riding through a berry patch. He was riding at a time when bears are most active. He wasn’t making noise to alert bears of his presence. It’s doubtful he was paying attention for bears because at 25mph you’re glued to the 6 inches ahead of your front tire. He wasn’t carrying bear spray or a firearm–not that it mattered, because he wouldn’t have had time to shoot. That’s why Steve French with the Yellowstone Grizzly Foundation says bear spray “ain’t brains in a can.”

    Having said all this, you’ve got to admire him for riding a bike to work rather than using a car. And he didn’t whine about the bear “attacking” him.

  2. avatar mikarooni says:

    The bear probably didn’t “attack” him at the time because it all happened so fast and unexpectedly that the bear was put into a temporary state of shock. I have since heard, however, that a large black bear was subsequently spotted, several hours later in the day, shoplifting a jumbo-sized nail file and several bottles of nail hardener from a local drugstore and asking people whether the school district gave out the addresses of local teachers.

  3. avatar Jeff says:

    Chuck you level some charges that don’t seem real clear from the article. Most of us that ride in bear country think about bears on single track in the woods, but he was cruising to work on a road. It could have been a moose or an elk with similar or worst results. Having lived in Teton County Wyoming for the past decade I have to admit it just isn’t practical to always be noisy everywhere one walks, rides, drives, or hunts…Had he been in his car, the bear would be dead. I’d say this is just one of those random events that can’t totally be avoided. I wish him and the bear a speedy recovery.

  4. avatar Linda Hunter says:

    Here is the other report:

    Excuse me Mr. Bear, but I heard you had a run in with a human. Can you tell us about that.

    “Sure. It happened that it was just about time to go to bed you know, after feeding all night and I was looking for a spot of no scent in the road to ahh, umm, do my business ya know and then out of nowhere this human came hurtling at me from nowhere. I did all the right things and just rolled with it but I hit the pavement pretty hard. My ears were ringing when I got up but it didn’t look like it would attack me again so I just left as soon as I could. I really think we need to do something about these unpredictable animals. They go slow, they go fast, they make silly noise and then they are silent. Some of em I have seen are really rude and look you straight in the eye and others turn and run. They are weird animals. They can’t even speak our language and don’t seem to try. Some of them even kill things and then just leave em there, and then have the nerve to get mad and try and hurt us of we claim a share. I don’t know what this world is coming to.”

    Thanks Mr. Bear, we hope you bruises heal soon.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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