Mountain News 

Bad month for bears

WHITEFISH, Mont. - From Colorado to British Columbia, it's been a bad month to be a bear - and occasionally a person. Wildlife officials have felt obligated to take out, euthanize, destroy or otherwise kill a number of bears that had shown too much comfort being around people.

In Revelstoke, B.C., officials killed five bears that had wandered into town. The bears had been eating garbage, birdseed, compost, fruit trees and pet food. The Revelstoke Times Review says the berry crop at high elevations is nearly non-existent.

No such excuses were offered at Crested Butte, Colo., where a 227-kilogram black bear was shot after it invaded a house. "He wasn't scared of me in the least," a man told officers.

Apparently the bear was afraid of others, who chased him out of the house and into the woods. A few hours later the bear was seen in a vehicle. That did it. Officers chased the bear and shot it. It was found dead the next morning, reports the Crested Butte News .

In Montana, two grizzlies were shot and killed in separate locations. The Whitefish Pilot reports a 168-kilogram grizzly was killed after it approached homes in Whitefish, broke into a chicken coop, and scarfed up dog and cat food. Worried that the bear might be a danger to people - and not just their property - wildlife officials authorized the killing.

Also in Montana, near Red Lodge, an older, heavier bear was "euthanized," according to the Carbon County News , because of its reputation of killing cattle on a ranch. It was the second cattle-killing spree for the grizzly.

In the panhandle of Idaho, another grizzly bear was killed by mistake - the hunters thought it was a black bear - but not until it killed of its hunters.

Finally, In British Columbia, wildlife officials killed three cougars that were making themselves entirely too much at home in backyards of Squamish, near Whistler.


A bicycle friendly community

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS, Colo. - Steamboat Springs has been bumped up to gold status by a group called Bicycle Friendly Community.

It joins 13 other communities with a similar distinction, including Breckenridge and Fort Collins, which are also in Colorado. Another Colorado town, Boulder, is one of just three platinum-level cities - a distinction that Steamboat bicycle proponents would also like.

Some of the local bloggers, however, were unimpressed. Maybe the award will provoke Steamboat to create a reality that matches the materials that had been submitted, said one.

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