I visited the Bear Center (finally) after following it online for many years. Because I live in the forest and see bears nearly every day when they aren't denning, what I have learned from Lynn and Sue and the other staff has been invaluable to me. Because of the Bear Center, I have had six years of what I can only call loving relationships with bears.
By some accident of fate, I arrived in Ely the day that the Center lost its permit to collar and track bears. The disservice that the MN DNR has done to bear research, the community of Ely and all of us outside the region is truly heartbreaking.
If you are reading this and especially if you are in Minnesota, I hope you will contact your governor and the DNR to protest their action. Their reasons for doing this are not supported by fact and appear to be motivated by petty reasons. The loss to Ely's financial health alone will be significant.
The Bear Center was really impressive: big in size and scope, full of video, displays, and films that let you into the complex world of bears. Here is an organization that approaches living things with respect, not fear. Isn't this a lesson we all need to be learning?
And of course, there are the "resident" bears, who all look amazingly healthy and are well tended by people sensitive to their individual needs.
Be sure to visit the Bear Center when you are in Ely. You will love it. And meanwhile, give it your political support or its research will end in approx 30 days.. end of July, 2013.
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