Bear Attack Fuels Debate Over Alaskan Trails

Salmon and garbage attract them, but city and state duck the issue
By Dustin Lushing,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 3, 2008 7:55 PM CDT
This photo released by Yellowstone National Park shows a grizzly bear moving through the brush in this 2005 file photo.   (AP Photo/Yellowstone National Park, James Peaco)
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(Newser) – A teenage biker's recent bear mauling in Anchorage has renewed debate over safety on the city's trails—and outrage among residents who want long-sought changes, the Anchorage Daily News reports. At issue is the salmon and human waste that attract bears, experts say, but city and state have so far ducked the problem. "I hear a tremendous amount of frustration," said bicyclist Janice Tower.

Park officials are trying to limit attacks by moving park paths from salmon streams, widening trails, and limiting garbage in the area. But not all residents fear the bears, while others simply want them gunned down. "You can't just shoot the bears, because more bears will just move in," Tower responded. "You've got to look at it as an ecosystem."