Mountain News: Grizzly bears still out and about, as hunter testifies 

click to enlarge SHUTTERSTOCK - Out and about  Male grizzlies sometimes wait until well past Christmas before they den.
  • shutterstock
  • Out and about Male grizzlies sometimes wait until well past Christmas before they den.

LAKE LOUISE, Alta.—November isn't necessarily hibernation time for bears. A grizzly bear was hanging out along the Great Divide Trail in mid-November even as World Cup skiers were preparing to compete at nearby Lake Louise.

"Just because it's colder weather and there's snow doesn't mean that all the bears have gone to sleep yet," said Nick de Ruyter, program director of Bow Valley WildSmart Community Program.

Females with cubs typically den up by mid-November, explained the Rocky Mountain Outlook. Males, in particular, remain out and about as long as food remains available, sometimes well past Christmas. One male, nicknamed The Boss, often can be seen between Lake Louise and Banff as winter arrives.

In Montana, a hunter had a gun but still got banged up by a grizzly. Anders Broste was hunting elk near Columbia Falls, on the south side of Glacier National Park, when the bear charged. "It was on me in seconds," he told the Whitefish Pilot. "I thought, 'Oh my God, this is actually happening.' I started backpedaling, trying to get the gun off my shoulder. I think I just fell to the ground immediately."

Broste told the newspaper he thought he kicked the bear a couple times, and then suddenly the bear ran off. He believes he surprised the bear. "I was in its territory. It did what a bear does."

Two more host candidates for Olympics pull the plug

CALGARY, Alta.—Two more communities have withdrawn from consideration for hosting the Winter Olympics in the next decade.

First to withdraw was the Reno-Tahoe Winter Games Coalition. It had been considering a bid for the 2030 Olympics, as Denver and Salt Lake City still are.

"We have maintained from the start that a Reno-Tahoe bid would have to make sense economically, environmentally and socially," said Brian Krolicki, the board chairman for the coalition, in a press release cited by the Tahoe Daily Tribune. "Given the parameters and conditions presented, we cannot make the numbers pass muster to continue, at this point, would be untenable and unwise."

Then, last week, Calgary city council voted unanimously to withdraw from consideration for the 2026 Winter Olympics. That leaves Stockholm, Sweden, which is reported to have shaky interest, and a joint Italian bid from Milan and Cortina d'Ampezzo. The Italian government has said it won't commit money.

The Calgary action came after a non-binding plebiscite the week before in which 56 per cent of the city's voters said they preferred a no-thanks to the International Olympic Committee. The plans called for the city to contribute $390 million.

In Canmore, 45 minutes to the west, there was disappointment. The town, located at the entrance to Banff National Park, was to have hosted the Nordic events, as it did in 1988 when Calgary hosted the Olympics.

"I truly believe the opportunity and future benefits would be well worth the investment and the risks would be manageable," Mayor John Borrowman told the Rocky Mountain Outlook.

Others in Canmore involved in the effort to land the Olympics were also disappointed. They, too, cited the renewal that gearing up for the 2026 event would have produced. "In Canmore, you see the 1988 Olympic legacy every day and you understand the need to renew it," said Norbert Meier with the Yes 2026 Canmore group.

Assessing Calgary's rejection, the Toronto Globe & Mail columnist Cathal Kelley pointed to the economics of hosting the Olympics. Worst of all may have been four years ago. "Sochi 2014 was the point at which most people got off the 'Olympics are great no matter what the price' bandwagon," he wrote.

"Does anybody really want to host the Winter Olympics?" asked the Associated Press in a Nov. 14 report. The AP's sports writers report one idea is to rotate the Games among just a few hosts, say Salt Lake City/Park City and Vancouver/Whistler and perhaps Sochi. Another idea: scale back the game to fewer sports.

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