Biologists recently set up cameras near the community of Eagle River and found conclusive evidence that bears live in the woods. Therefore, it's a bad idea to build a greenbelt trail there, they say, because if you put a trail where bears live, animals and humans might happen to encounter each other. (Although they also said the bears carefully avoided times and places where humans were active.)
Anchorage mountain bikers have been encountering this same argument for months now. People who don't want new trails near the homes they built in bear habitat have suddenly become very "concerned about safety," so they lobby against building trails in bear habitat—especially when it's on the public land that serves as a really sweet extension to their backyards.
The problem is, all open, wooded land around here is bear habitat. Anchorage itself—the largest city in Alaska—is bear habitat. That would seem to limit the options, wouldn't it?
But the thing is, no one appears to be prohibited from building subdivisions or discount stores in bear habitat.
Doesn't it seem a little weird that it's OK to bulldoze bear habitat, but it's not OK to visit it?