Opportunity For Young Filmmakers In CA
March 11, 2013
One of the biggest threats to the black bear in CA isn’t houndsmen or spot-and-stalk hunters. It’s people who don’t have enough sense or consideration to make an effort to bearproof their homes and yards… especially in places like Lake Tahoe, Big Bear, Donner, or other areas where bears have become a nuisance.
Nuisance really isn’t a great word here… at least in reference to the bears. It’s a more appropriate term for the folks who think it’s OK to leave pet food and garbage out where the bears can get at it. They don’t understand, or don’t care, that the bears find this easy food source and become habituated. For a while, they’re cute. If you’ve ever watched bears ambling around, or playing bear games, they are adorable. I get it.
But that adorableness wears thin when the bears get more and more intrusive. First it’s just trash cans or picnic areas. Then it’s unoccupied cabins, breaking into garages and sheds, and eventually, breaking into occupied homes. At some point, the bears become a problem. They’re destructive as hell, and in the wrong circumstances, deadly dangerous. And all because they’re doing what their nature requires them to do.
Once the bears become a problem, there’s usually one effective solution… and that’s to kill the bears. Trapping and relocation have proven ineffective, as bears travel insanely long distances in order to return to their home territory. Problem bears have been trapped multiple times, despite being released into the wild miles and miles away from where they were captured.
This doesn’t have to happen. There are measures homeowners can take to keep bears from becoming habituated to raiding garbage cans and pet food. If the easy pickings aren’t available, the bears will generally return to their more natural habits… foraging and hunting in the woods.
And here’s where the young Martin Scorceses and Steven Speilbergs can play a part.
The CA Department of Fish and Wildlife is sponsoring a film making contest for youngsters to create Public Service Announcements (PSA) about the importance bear-proofing human habitat in order to keep the bears wild (and alive). In this age of YouTube video, social media, and cameras and editing software right in our phones, this should open the gates for creativity and fun.
Learn more about the contest at the DFG Bear Aware Yout Contest web page.
I look forward to seeing some of the submissions!