Bears are topic of 3R town meeting


After a two-month hiatus, the monthly Town Hall meeting returns on Monday, September 8. The timely agenda comes less than a month after a sow and two black bear cubs were shot and killed at a Dinely Drive property after the owner had received a depredation permit for damage to chickens and a bird coop on his property.

Kyle Orr, a Sacramento based information officer with California Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, said the bear-education program will include an informative multimedia presentation and ample time for questions from the audience. Monday’s meeting marks the first time that the state agency has made a formal presentation to Three Rivers.

“There are communities with bear problems up and down the Sierra,” said Orr who recently conducted a similar meeting in Kern County. “There are steps residents can take to ensure these bears have the best chance to remain wild.”  

Orr also said Evan King, an agency wildlife biologist, and a game warden will be attending. King is based in Visalia and has experience with local bears, mountain lions, and riparian habitat. 

“The number-one cause in the demise of a wild bear begins with their habituation to human garbage,” said Greg Gerstenberg, the agency’s chief biologist. “It takes the cooperation of the entire community to ensure that these wild bears don’t end up being destroyed.”

Gerstenberg said the situation in Three Rivers is unique because the bears that wander into town are often troubled refugees from Sequoia National Park. The sow that was shot had a park ear tag and was being tracked in Sequoia’s database.

The meeting, sponsored by the Three Rivers Village Foundation, is scheduled for 7 p.m. at the Three Rivers Memorial Building.

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