Thursday, July 22, 2010

Rovin' Rover's

The city is warning trail users—again—to avoid Rover’s Run because a remote camera captured images of a brown bear sow and her two-year-old triplets walking on the trail multiple times over the past week.

For about 30 years, people used Rover’s on a regular basis with no significant bear problems—just an occasional sighting. But since a bad summer two years ago, the municipality has treated Rover’s like a skid-row titty bar full of brawling biker gangs. Nevermind the fact that the bear responsible for a serious mauling was never seen or heard from again, and the most persistently troublesome bear was killed, bringing threatening bear encounters to a screeching halt before that notorious summer ended.

Between trail closures and frequent warnings, the city has terrified many runners and bike riders, thereby cutting human use of Rover’s Run during summer months to a small fraction of what it was prior to 2008. All along, critics of the city’s response have pointed out that if humans vacate the area, bears will feel free to move in, and become bolder about using the trail during daylight hours.

And now cameras are capturing daytime images of a virtual wagon train of brown bears cruising the trail as if they owned it. Coincidence? Maybe not.

Take another look at those three cubs in the picture. They’re two years old. For their entire lives, human use of Rover’s has been minimized. Now Mama’s teaching them they can cruise that area with impunity.

Think they’re going to go away?

Don’t bet on it.


bikegirl said...

I so agree with you on this! The biggest annoyance is that with nobody using it, I don't want to ride it by myself and I've biked that trail solo for years!
On Wed., some of the Divas biked the lower half of the trail with the rallying cry: take back the trail! What if we all did that?

Debbie said...

If I publicly declare that I'll ride it naked for the rest of the summer, will that be enough of an attractant to enlist more human traffic? And maybe get me my coveted Missed Connection?

Notorious T said...

That just might work.

Matthew Woody said...

Now you know why I am a wimp,, especially after seeing that article.

lemmiwinks said...

There's a kind of frightening parallel here between this, and the widely held belief that you can't ride a bike on the road if there's no bike lane/separate bike infrastructure.

Kris said...

Hmmm...from what I can tell, that is a pretty crappy trail to begin with. I am sorry to say I don't share your views on this one. As an Anchorage area resident I am more of he mind that they were here first and it;s us that thinks we own the place. JMHO.