Learn About Black Bears

Editor, News-Register:

Three years ago, when I returned to Barnesville for my 45th reunion, I had the opportunity to give several presentations about black bears to community organizations, as well as many other communities throughout the country. I wasn’t surprised that so many knew very little about black bears, as people are not particularly interested until black bears are apparent in their area.

Several folks from Barnesville have contacted me with concerns about some panic by area residents because of bear sightings. As I have studied black bears for many years and have taken field study courses from the renowned bear biologist, Dr. Lynn Rogers of the Wildlife Research Institute in Ely, Minn., I am concerned about human misunderstanding wherever bears exist, especially as black bears expand their territory.

It was an extraordinary experience for me to live 12 years among black bears in the Northwoods of Wisconsin and to learn firsthand about the true and gentle nature of bears.

I had the wonderful opportunity to be one of the coordinators for the Education Outreach Program of the North American Bear Center in Ely, Minn., and developed the National Speakers Bureau, as well. I wish I could fly back to your area now to speak to as many groups as possible, both children and adult, but as that’s no possible, I urge you to share information about black bears (from Speakers Bureau Program developed from information and research from the Wildlife Research Institute and the North American Bear Center).

Trish Kirk

(former Barnesville resident)

Education Outreach Coordinator

NABC

Vancouver, Wash.

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