The garbage dump was a popular local bear watching place-

This is a major controversy now in Alberta.

Officers ‘massacre’ 12 bears at northern Alberta landfill. Official defends decision to shoot scavengers at landfill. By Karen Kleiss, Edmonton Journal

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About The Author

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.

11 Responses to Officers 'massacre' 12 bears at northern Alberta landfill

  1. avatar IzabelaM says:

    OMG..this is just unbelievable..I am speechless.
    What is wrong with us humans!??????????
    12 bears dead because of stupidy of humans. Well…No more Alberta for me…

  2. avatar Salle says:

    “Defenders of Wildlife spokesman Jim Pissot said the situation smacks of “bureaucratic cowardice.”

    “It is absolutely unconscionable in 2009 that a garbage dump is left open in bear country, and that people are so ill-informed as to feed bears and encourage habituation,” he said.

    “What this boils down to is that this province, whether it’s the premier, the minister of Sustainable Resources Development or the minister of Alberta Environment, is not committed to wildlife conservation in any sense whatsoever.

  3. avatar ProWolf in WY says:

    You would think they would have had the sense to fence in the dump when there was even one bear showing up regularly.

  4. avatar Mike says:

    What is wrong with Alberta and BC? Seems the only thing they get right is health care.

  5. avatar Mike Bickley says:

    Allowing bears to frequent a dump is inexcusable. Yet, here in Idaho we are allowed to take the dump to the bears (bear baiting) and it is legal. Why is feeding bears donuts and Twinkies in the guise of hunting not considered habituating? How is bear baiting any different than allowing bears to graze in our dumps? I don’t get it.

  6. avatar mikarooni says:

    Alberta and BC get health care right because it comes from Ottawa. Where the environment, exploitation, and general enlightenment are concerned, western Canadian politics are as corrupt and “conservative” as western American politics. And Bickley is correct; we can’t throw rocks at unmanaged garbage dumps when shooting bears in the ass while they have their heads stuck in buckets full of donuts and bacon grease is considered a sportsmanlike behavior. I won’t even go into the elegant sport of running bears or anything else down with a pack of mutant dogs.

  7. Mike Bickley,

    Good point!

  8. avatar Karen V. Stefanini says:

    Open dumps are being banned in bear territory here in the US I gather and they should all be fenced in when located in bear territory. I find it hard to believe that civilized people would kill 12 precious black bears. These magnificent creatures are being found to be as intelligent as the great apes by several researchers and emotionally complex. They are all valued members of my bear “family” and to say I adore bears is an understatement. Thanks to precious Knut I have become an avid bear fan. His antics have consistently displayed a high level of intelligence. He is curious, clever and comical. He, like all bears, is very special.

  9. avatar catbestland says:

    Ralph or anyone in the know.

    Is there a proper way to compost in bear country. I have been able to eliminate about 75% of what I would normally contribute to the landfill through recycling. That leaves about 25% of my garbage which is mostly food scraps and leftovers. I feed the dogs a portion of this. I would love to be able to compost the rest to improve the soil in my flower garden or to use in the potted vegetable plants but I do not want to entice bears. If anyone have any information about this, please advise. I fear that composting is not one of those green activities that can be practiced in bear country.

  10. avatar Brian Ertz says:

    Vermicompost (using red worms) is one opportunity to compost with a bin inside (& no stink if you do it right) Book: Worms Eat My Garbage … Worm castings are about the best thing you can do for your garden/houseplant soil.

  11. avatar catbestland says:

    Thanks Brian, this is a great help.

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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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