Bears and the Federal Shutdown   3 comments

Nine days into the federal “shutdown”, I finally encountered a potential inconvenience.

The White Mountain National Recreational Area is just over the ridgeline from our family cabin. It’s possible we share the same bears. We certainly have an aggressive grizzly in our valley.

And, now the federal government is not hauliing away the trash from the bear-proof garbage bins and the bears are snacking at the wilderness equivalent of White Castle.

“Sweet” bears — those who have been habituated to human food — are more dangerous than truly wild bears. It’s remotely possible that these bears might someday wander across the ridge into my valley and attempt to eat me … which is one of the many reasons I own a gun.

Of course, this is actually easily dealt with. Just give me the key to the bins and send me out with someone carrying a shot gun and we’ll haul the garbage out and seal up the bins so humans won’t keep using them and put signs on them saying “Haul your trash”.

This is, by the way, what we do at our cabin. We haul our trash and police our food. Alaskans have been doing this for generations. It was the NPS and BLM who brought in the bear-safe bins and tempted us to use them. Prior to that, we were smart enough to not attract bears.

So, I promised I’d report when I encountered an inconvenience. I haven’t yet, actually, but potentially — maybe — someday — but it didn’t need to be in the first place.

3 responses to “Bears and the Federal Shutdown

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  1. We are all waiting to hear of the calamity that has befallen the US…with the govt shutdown.


    • I hope you look good in blue.

      What’s going on right now is hype and political posturing. I’m gob-smacked to see Boehner actually playing this game of chicken for nine days. It gives me a tiny bit of hope for the future. But …

      The US government can’t stay shut down forever without economic consequences and given that we are the world reserve currency and the largest (or 2nd largest, if you group Europe together) economy in the world, that means negative consequences to other countries as well.

      It’s a good exercise however. The actual cut in government services is about 15%. So far, I’ve not had an inconvenience and Alaska is #2 for federal employees in the nation (and the regulation they wield), so there’s really no need to panic.

      In another couple of weeks, though, Alaska will start to suffer because 80% of our communities are accessible only by air and the federal government re-certifies general aviation craft right around this time annually. The FAA says it won’t be doing that under the shutdown, so in effect, they’ll be grounding the aircraft.

      I’m personally quite comfortable with the general aviation providers putting together an adjunct team of pilots and mechanics and certifying each other’s aircraft so they can keep passengers and freight flowing.

      Good exercise in what we can do to keep essential services flowing as the US government shrinks it role as our nanny.

      I have yet to see a riot anywhere or even a huge gathering of people demanding the shutdown end. I think people are catching on that we may not need the level of government we have.


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