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Letters to the editor

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Shoot First and Never Ask Questions – since when did this become Whistler’s motto on black bears?

Three unfortunate bears have "crossed the line" and paid the price with their lives. But what line did they cross? Humans defined the line as leaving food in their cars and the campground. Humans left a point of access to a home. And guess what? The bears didn’t know they needed to respect these lines – they were simply being bears. And these humans, knowingly or unknowingly, drew the lines in the wrong place for bears that simply behave like bears.

I wonder, if given the choice, would these humans have pulled the trigger? Or would they have voted for non-lethal measures first? Speaking of which, why can’t we get the conservation officers to try non-lethal measures first? It says it right on their name C-O-N-S-E-R-V-A-T-I-O-N. Can’t they practise it? I can’t believe they are pistol-packing bear stalkers. If they don’t enjoy killing, then why don’t they pursue the education and use of non-lethal measures?

In some of the recent bear encounters, these proven and effective techniques were not tried at all. I feel sorry for the humans in this story. They have to live with the remorse that they created a situation that resulted in a bear’s death. I feel sorry for the conservation officers. They have to live with the community’s knowledge that there were other choices. But most of all, I feel sorry for the three bears that didn’t know how to read the fickle human minds that re-draw the lines in unnatural places and didn’t know that conservation officers might turn out to be uninformed on how to respond without firing a gun.

Deborah Chandler

Whistler

Having become a part-time resident of Whistler a year ago, I realize the value of having affordable and legally advertised bed and breakfast establishments.

I am dismayed at the For Sale signs appearing on such reputable and long-standing residences as Durlacher Hof Pension Inn, Chalet Luise Pension Inn and Edelweiss Pension Lodge.

I have learned that they are being taxed as commercial operations, in contrast to the private dwellings that regularly rent out illegal suites, don’t advertise and are not being taxed as a commercial operation, but still reap financial benefits.

I am afraid that if these illegal bed and breakfast establishments continue to be allowed to operate in this way, Whistler will lose a lot of first class pensions.

Carol H. Slater

West Vancouver

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