Embattled Minn. bear researcher taking fight to top, hopes governor will hear him out

  • Article by: STEVE KARNOWSKI , Associated Press
  • Updated: July 3, 2013 - 5:45 PM

MINNEAPOLIS — Embattled bear researcher Lynn Rogers is hoping to take his fight to the top. He said Wednesday he's trying to get a meeting with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to appeal a decision by the Department of Natural Resources not to renew his permits to radio-collar wild bears and place video cameras in their dens.

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bdsdnfamJul. 3, 1310:52 PM

My family has enjoyed the online videos and stories of the bears that Lynn Rogers has provided through his research. The DNR on the other hand does not want us to befriend the bears. They want to sell hunting licenses! I'm not against bear hunting just against the DNR and their agenda of job security.

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bearsrusJul. 4, 1312:09 AM

I hope the Wildlife Research Institute and the North American Bear Center are successful in getting the revocation of permit overturned. If a jury were to decide the case, I believe the evidence would overwhelmingly show the DNR has no legitimate case against Dr. Rogers and his team of biologists and volunteers. Bringing the true nature of black bears into worldwide consciousness can only expand our respect for these amazing creatures. Dr. Rogers is studying them in the most humane way possible and his methods allow the bears to live normal lives, interrupted by a few minutes every other week for battery changing and quiet observation. Thanks to him, 500 classrooms around the globe can study what bears do, naturally, when they are not in fear for their lives. What a shame if we could not witness these grand creatures outside of a zoo.

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sassystrongJul. 5, 13 5:09 AM

I have to agree with the astroturfer comment. What amazes me is that a small group of bitter people have such sad lives that they have nothing better to do that try to ruin the life's work of a gentle elderly academic. If they succeed I wish their businesses every joy of the climate they will create in Ely with the hit to tourism and all the benefits that the bear research brings the local economy. Don't kid yourselves good ol' boys, the research goes, the affluent tourists and the spendy tv crews go too.

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bjdimondJul. 5, 13 8:07 AM

!) Rodgers geets permit; permit has requirements around research publication 2) Rodgers does not meet terms of the permit regarding peer reviewed research; permit is not renvoked Regardless of your feelings around bears ad hunting, why should Rodgers be exempt from complying with the permit terms to which he agreed?

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picturetakerJul. 5, 1311:20 AM

"Dr. Rogers is studying them in the most humane way possible and his methods allow the bears to live normal lives, interrupted by a few minutes every other week for battery changing and quiet observation." - I'm sorry, but hand feeding bears to gain their trust is not allowing the bears to live "normal" lives! A "normal" wild black bear is fearful of humans and does not view them as a vending machine for treats or food!

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woodyagJul. 5, 1311:23 AM

aardvark- glad SOMEONE does their homework. Good for you. Except- there is no similarity between the mistaken feeding of chimps that Goodall did in the early days (she put out large quantities of food for many chimps to come to and interact around; before figuring out that was bad) and what Rogers does. He carries a bag of hazelnuts- and rewards one single bear with a few of them, at a time. No mass feedings; ever. Goodall's work now stands as groundbreaking- and yes, she screwed up a time or two. People who never screw up- also never break ground.

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tcatheartJul. 6, 1312:35 PM

This one sentence tells me all I need to know about the situation..."Rogers has gained a devoted following on the Internet for his work hand-feeding bears to gain their trust..." -----It is irresponsible and downright dangerous for ANYONE to be hand feeding "wild bears". Period! End of story! (I use the term "wild" lightly because hand fed bears are no longer wild. They are tamed pets at that point.) It does not matter if you are the DNR, Dr. Rogers, or anyone else. Rogers has not produced any substantial data on his research and has not published any peer reviewed papers. Keep the Bear Center open as a tourist attraction and education center about bears. However, this "research" has got to stop. How long until one of Dr. Rogers' bears attacks him, someone else, or does serious damage to property. Then what?

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tcatheartJul. 6, 1312:44 PM

@ bdsdnfam - "The DNR on the other hand does not want us to befriend the bears." ------Exactly! Thank you for proving their (DNR) point. Dr. Rogers has done exactly that. The bears are, supposedly, wild animals. They should remain that way. The only thing Dr. Rogers has done in 3 decades is video tape them and feed, which brings in money for his bear center.

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wellreadJul. 6, 13 1:57 PM

Those quick to criticize the DNR should do their research. This is not the first time he has lost his permit nor been associated with controversy. The following were all Star Tribune headlines from the 90s: "Two Harbors / Bear expert Lynn Rogers accused in cub deaths released without bail," "Rogers' bear research is under scrutiny in light of allegations, probe" (Includes allegations relating to tranquilizing wildlife in support of his photography business, torturing of a stray cat, stealing a deer for purposes of photographing it, and involvement in a Nature episode where a fawn was tied down and filmed while killed by a study bear), "Bear expert Rogers admits he tried to conceal his role in cubs' death," "Forest Service fires Ely black-bear researcher." Those willing to hear both sides of the story might consider reading these articles. Hopefully the Governor will do his reasearch on this topic as well. I personally found the content to be extremely disturbing, and if true, are highly inconsistent with the behavior of someone that puts the well-being of wildlife ahead of personal gain.

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