29 August 2012

Alaska News: Bears, Pumpkins, and Votes

By now, you've probably seen the reports that a grizzly attacked and killed a tourist in Denali Park, last week. Said tourist ignored the "keep a quarter-mile away" rule in the park & was within 50 yards of the bear for at least eight minutes prior to the attack.

We know this because he was taking pictures the whole time, and the time stamp on the photos proves what happened.

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Another attack occurred over the weekend, when a geologist who was picking up rock samples on a rainy, foggy day was bitten by the hand & dragged some 20 yards before the bear let go and wandered away. Unlike the unfortunate first guy, above, she will survive ... with scars to prove her story.

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Inclement summer weather produces smaller pumpkins than in warmer, sunnier weather. No surprise there, I suppose. This year's prize punkin at the Alaska State Fair weighs just under 1,000 pounds; last year's winner was 1,287 lbs.

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Alaska's coastal management program, which was in place for over 30 years, expired some time back. Legislators crafted a replacement bill & put it on the ballot. The "No on 2" campaign was funded heavily by oil and mining companies, which was the only clue needed for me to vote for the bill.

Unfortunately, with no State controls, that gives the Federal government carte blanche to administer our coasts & waterways to their Progressive hearts' content.

I have less hope for Alaska & Alaskans now than before. I didn't realize we'd sunk so low as to be bamboozled by a flashy Outside ad campaign.

We should be ashamed of ourselves.

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Finally, to end on a higher note, here's something that created a bit o' excitement in Valdez the other day:
Onlookers seem amused; I'd have been climbing on top of my truck. (This copyright photo was found on Cook Inletkeepers' Facebook page.)


Sandy said...

Interesting how people just don't think when around bears. I was raised up in the U.P. of Michigan and we just don't mess with the bear. You keep your distance and don't dare get close to baby cubs because Momma bear will protect to her death.

My oh my, those pumpkin sizes sure look pretty large to me :-)

I love that you reside in Alaska, it's God's Country :-)
My hubby has been there and loves it there, I have yet been, and one day I will.

Rev. Paul said...

Welcome, Sandy! So many people forget what "wild" means ... and we have tourists trampled by moose every summer, too. They try to pet them, walk right up & take pictures, or whatever.

Come on up - it's wonderful here!

Stephen said...

I wish I lived up there...you are so lucky my friend.

Rev. Paul said...

Stephen, I know you'd love it - and I know how blessed we are to live here. I pray you & your sweet wife may visit us, someday.

drjim said...

It will kill you, and eat you, and God help you if you find some cute, cuddly cubs, because Mama bear will tear you to shreds!

Rev. Paul said...

drjim, you're right. We have way too many tourists who think the bears and moose that wander through town are tame, and arranged for their convenience. And every year, some find out the hard way.

Beth Adams said...

When we stop taking their habitat away from the wildlife; maybe people will stop acting stupid by thinking they can actually get up close and personal with wildlife. Come on people! This is why they are wild, and live in the wilderness. They aren't meant to live among us...it's too dangerous.

Rev. Paul said...

I mostly agree, Beth - but wildlife used to roam free everywhere. I refuse to believe we should all move to a space station so critters can have the planet.

Here in Alaska, we share the land with the wildlife, and - except for dumb tourists - it works pretty well.

Beth Adams said...

Yes, I do believe we need to share this planet with the wildlife.
An I agree that there are people who visit Alaska, and don't think about the consequences of their own actions..