Letters to the Editor

Vol. 8, No. 36
Sept. 7-13, 2000
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Why Hunting Maryland's Bears Won't Help

Dear Bay Weekly:

I serve as one of Gov. Parris Glendening's nine appointed commissioners to the Maryland Wildlife Advisory Commission, the citizens' group tasked with recommending policy to the Department of Natural Resources. I offer Bay Weekly readers a clarification to Bill Burton's July 27 column [Vol. VIII No. 30] on Maryland's black bears.

Mr. Burton stated that the Commission agreed with the Maryland Sportsman Association's request to DNR to hunt and kill black bears. However, not all commissioners voted for the proposal.

I voted against the proposed black bear hunt. I stand by my logic. I stand by the White Paper report I provided the commission. And I endorse DNR Secretary Sarah Taylor Rogers' decision not to support such a hunt.

Prior to voting on this issue, I carefully reviewed the Sportsmen's request. I researched this issue, and I consulted with Dr. Lyn Rogers, a nationally recognized expert on American black bears. I could find no evidence supporting the need or usefulness of the proposed hunt as an answer to the bear-related concerns of persons living in Western Maryland.

How killing 10 to 20 percent of the bears would teach those bears who survived not to raid an occasional bird feeder or root through a trash can defies logic and science. Instead, in my opinion, the proposed hunt was far more about satisfying a desire by some hunters to kill a bear than about solving local bear/human conflicts.

DNR has a highly successful program called the Black Bear Compensation Fund that your readers and others can donate to by purchasing bear stamps. The fund helps defray the costs of black bear damage in Maryland. Also, DNR is stepping up its educational programs about black bears and its efforts to control specific bears as necessary. For more information, call DNR's bear fund coordinator, Mary Goldie, at 410/260-8546.

A generalized bear hunt was not necessary, and I did not vote for it.

-E. Joseph Lamp, Arnold

Bravo Bill Burton

Dear Bay Weekly:

Bee-bee-bee (BBB) Bravo Bill Burton!!! For telling like it is in "4 x 4 Hippos Hog Our Resources" [Aug.17-23, 2000: Vol. VIII, No.33] and in "The Bitter Truth" about soft drinks. [Aug 24-30: Vol. VIII, No. 34].

Among the Many Sins of SUVs described by Bill, intimidating smaller vehicles on the road is perhaps the most obvious one. Many SUV drivers feel that they are King (or Queen) of the Road, backing out of driveways and parking lots without paying attention to traffic. 'You better yield to me and brake hard. In case of a collision, you know that I am the winner and I will crush your sub-compact,' they seem to say.

As for the hooking of customers by the soft drink industry, I once attended a food bazaar in Key West where a 12-ounce can of a well-known cola was selling for $.50 while on the same table, the vendor charged $1 for plain, bottled water in a slightly larger plastic bottle. It does not take a genius to figure out which of the two drinks was more popular and selling faster.

Keep up the good work, Bill, and continue to keep us informed!

-Eddie T. Yo, Davidsonville

Copyright 2000
Bay Weekly