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Mauled at news conference: Dayton peppered with questions about black bears

MinnPost photo by James Nord
Gov. Mark Dayton: “Excuse me, this is supposed to be a press conference.’’

In all of his years in politics, Gov. Mark Dayton never figured to find himself caught in a bear trap.

But there was the governor on Monday, smack dab in the middle of a situation that he never imagined.

In the wake of a meeting with famed black bear “researcher” Lynn Rogers, Dayton was trying to moderate what was supposed to be a news conference involving DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr. But it was supporters of Rogers, not reporters, who were firing questions at the governor and the commissioner.

The questions went like this:

“Have you ever been to the North American Bear Center?’’

“I’ve been to Ely,’’ the governor responded.

“Why don’t you go there and see for yourself the great research he’s doing?’’

“I wasn’t elected to mediate disputes among experts,’’ he said.

The questions kept coming. At one point, Dayton, slightly exasperated, said, “Excuse me, this is supposed to be a press conference.’’

Reporters tried to get in a question. Rogers’ supporters were faster – and more assertive.

“Do you understand how much children have learned because of the den cameras?’’

The governor could only sigh.

No more permits

All of this started a few weeks ago, when the DNR informed Rogers that it no longer would issue him permits to collar bears and that he no longer could use the den cameras that showed bear behavior – including birthing – in their dens.

Landwehr, who managed to stay calm in the midst of hostile questions, said there are two fundamental problems with the work of the 74-year-old Rogers.

One: Because he hand-feeds the bears as a way of getting close to them, the animals are losing their instinctive shyness around human beings. This is making bears in the Ely region more hostile. They see people, they think food.

“This is a public safety issue,’’ Landwehr said, adding that in the last couple of years,  his office has received numerous complaints from people in the Ely area.

Two: Going back to 1999, Rogers has received 14 permits allowing him to collar bears for research. But those permits call for Rogers to publish peer-reviewed articles about what his research is uncovering. To date, Landwehr said, Rogers has not published a single peer-reviewed article.

“I’m not going to continue to sign permits for hand-feeding bears,’’ Landwehr said.

Prior to the governor and Landwehr facing the Rogers supporters (and reporters), Rogers had sort of dealt with the issue of writing. Essentially, he said, he’s going to start pretty soon.

Lynn Rogers
MinnPost photo by James NordBlack bear “researcher” Lynn Rogers speaks to reporters and supporters following Monday’s meeting.

“By the time I’m 77,’’ he said, “I want to start writing book after book.’’

Meantime, Rogers wants to keep receiving permits from the DNR to carry on. After receiving notice from the DNR that the permits were going to stop and that he was to have the collars off by the end of this month, Rogers sought the meeting with the governor.

Different views on meeting

Rogers described the meeting differently from how the governor and Landwehr described it.

Rogers said that “things aren’t clear’’ about where this dispute is headed.

But both the governor and the commissioner said things are clear: As of now, the 10 collars, which include GPS devices, must be removed by the end of the month.

Dayton did say that Landwehr has gone the extra mile in dealing with Rogers. The commissioner suggested that the matter be handed over to an administrative law judge, who will be given final say. But clearly, Landwehr is confident that the DNR position will prevail. It’s also obvious that no administrative hearing can go forward before the July 31 deadline for Rogers to remove the collars.

Rogers, who has been using the Internet to raise funds for a court defense, intimated that he might go to court, presumably to either halt or at least delay the DNR order.

“We’re considering all of our options,’’ Rogers said.

If it means anything, Rogers does have a lot of clout in the court of public opinion. Monday, for example, there were about a dozen of his supporters toting pro-Rogers signs outside the governor’s office.

Dana Coleman, a former elementary teacher in Andover, said that Rogers’ work has been “amazing’’ for children.

DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr
MinnPost photo by James NordDNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr

“The den cameras are extremely important for educators,’’ Coleman said. “They could see inside the den for themselves. They were learning things you can’t possibly learn from a book.’’

Others, too, were extolling the virtues of Rogers’ work. His birth videos have been seen by hundreds of thousands around the world.

Rogers defends his hands-on approach to feeding bears. Bears are food driven, he said. By using food, he’s able to get closer to his subject. Ultimately, he said, his research will help people understand bear behavior better.

“I’m showing that bears can stay out of trouble with food just as they get in trouble with food,’’ he said.

His hope, he said, is that given expanding populations of bears and people that he can teach people they can “co-exist’’ with bears.

But DNR officials believe the Rogers approach not only lacks science, but is creating more bear-on-people problems.

Numerous warnings

DNR officials said that their concerns with Rogers work is hardly new. In recent years, a DNR official said, Rogers had received numerous warnings that he must start producing data-driven articles about what he’s learned. Nothing has been forthcoming.

Rogers can continue operating what Landwehr dismissively called “his game farm’’ but the collars and cameras must go.

The DNR has been using collars on bears in other parts of the state to do biological studies of bears. But the DNR does not hand-feed bears in order to put on and take off collars. Instead, agency biologists tranquilize bears to use the collars. Every effort to avoid the sort of human-to-bear contact that Rogers specializes in.

The DNR not only doesn’t hand feed, it doesn’t give bears it’s studying names as Rogers does. “Jewel” and “Fern”  and many other bears have become famous among those who follow Rogers’ bears on video.

Back when he was running for governor, did Dayton ever anticipate that he’d be standing in the middle of this issue?

“Never,’’ said Dayton. “But there are a lot of issues I didn’t expect. It’s what makes the job so interesting.’’

Comments (39)

  1. Submitted by Mike Worcester on 07/23/2013 - 09:53 am.

    In HIndsight….

    In hindsight, Gov Dayton perhaps should have not met with Rogers. But I still wonder what went on behind the scenes with the DNRs decision to deny Rogers his permits. Something just does not seem right here.

    Of course I have no proof of anything nefarious either, but isn’t that the beauty of espousing a conspiracy theory? 🙂

  2. Submitted by Paul Brandon on 07/23/2013 - 09:54 am.

    Rogers is not a researcher

    and an elementary school teacher is not an expert on scientific research.
    Rogers is a showman, and what children are likely to learn about bear behavior from watching his webcam is highly misleading.
    This is a cult; like many cults it’s good at self promotion.

    • Submitted by Deb Oliver on 07/24/2013 - 12:45 pm.

      I agree Den Cams not appropriate for Elementary children

      As a former award winning teacher, I can tell you that I would not use the den cams in my classrooms. When Jason died, that was too traumatic for small children. When Hope died that was too traumatic for small children. I would however use the educational material from the NABC. The NABC is the bear center…it is NOT the research center and it will not be closing. The research permit has nothing to do with the NABC and there are cams at the NABC too on the enclosed bears. But, there comes a place and time when we have to realize as educators that exposing small children…especially K-3..is not appropriate. Children were traumatized by that when they watched the cams and heard Jason cry ing over and over and then when he died. That is not something that I would expose my children to.
      Deb Oliver

      • Submitted by Vicki Froslee on 07/30/2013 - 10:56 am.

        I believe that the Den Cams were wonderful teaching tools

        As a parent of one of the children that was in Dana Coleman’s class who watched the bears every day in class through the den cams, I completely disagree that the den cams are not appropriate for children to watch. My son loved watching the den cams every day and learned a lot of information about bears and nature. It got him engaged in school and when I asked him about his day, what he told me about was the bears. He was not traumatized by the death of the bears. If asked about it, his response was that is part of nature and the circle of life. It is no more traumatizing than losing a pet or living on a farm and seeing animals die. In fact, I’m grateful that he learned about the lose of life through the den cams so that when our dog dies, it will be less traumatizing for him. I told him about taking the collars off the bears and he got very upset. He doesn’t understand why the DNA and Dr. Rogers can’t compromise and work this out so his work can continue. The hardest part about this is having to explain to him that like some kids that have to always have their way, many adults are the same way and would rather fight and take a hard line instead of working things out. This is very similar to their class’s effort to make the black bear the MN state mammal after falling in love with the bears. That effort was killed because of politics. While my son learned many valuable lessons from the bears and the den cams, unfortunately he has also learned some bad lessons about adult behavior that I had hoped he would not learn until he is much older.

  3. Submitted by Kevin Watterson on 07/23/2013 - 10:06 am.

    I’ve seen a lot of times where people try to hijack availabilities and failed, so if these guys actually succeeded they must have been pretty aggressive.

  4. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 07/23/2013 - 10:15 am.

    Wild life is not meant to be internet entertainment

    Fourteen years of this “research” and still nothing worth publishing? Not a very good academic record by this guy. And saying that the elementary school kids are “learning” something by watching the video feeds doesn’t replace published research. Saying they are learning things “you can’t learn in a book” is like equating You Tube and a text book. This is generating more infotainment than information.

    The whole hand feeding of the bears seems unnatural and dangerous. Eventually some innocent person will be mauled by one of these bears and Rogers and his fans will be quick to blame anything buy his “research” methods for the problem.

    From what I’ve read this guy is making a pretty good living doing what he’s doing now. Maybe he can’t afford to take time off to start writing.

  5. Submitted by Diane Spector on 07/23/2013 - 10:32 am.

    Grad students are cheaper than lawyers

    If he can raise money for a legal defense, he can raise money to hire some grad students to assemble and analyze his data and draft some papers.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 07/23/2013 - 04:29 pm.

      If your grad students didn’t publish for 14 years…

      …wouldn’t you hesitate to advance – or even continue – their academic careers ?

  6. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/23/2013 - 10:38 am.

    Video doesn’t have to “live” to be educatoinal.

    He’s got 14 years worth of video, that’s more than enough for kids to look at. And it’s not like there’s any shortage of wildlife video for kids to watch. I saw some Grizzlies on “Nature” the other night.

  7. Submitted by John Ferman on 07/23/2013 - 11:25 am.

    Roger’s Bear Research Valuable

    DNR says Rogers’ work is not scientific. When did DNR become expert in science beyond the freshman level. It seems to me that DNR is jealous of Rogers acheivements. Let us hear an assessment of Rogers’ work by recognised scholars. DNR cites Rogers failure to publish his research. When has DNR published their work in any peer reviewed journal in the natural sciences.
    Why does DNR reserve the right to decide what research is permissible and who may conduct research. This is tantamount to Edison having to get permission to conduct his research from the National Association of Wax and Candlemakers.

    • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 07/23/2013 - 01:33 pm.

      John…

      It is not the job of the DNR to publish research. They invited/allowed him into an area they are responsible for with the understanding that he would publish his results. Now, fourteen years later they are done wait for the research to be published. If Edison would have been conducting his research in someone else’s space or on someone else’s timeclock I’m sure he would have needed approval.

      The DNR is our, the Minnesota citizens, responsible party for our natural resources. There may be much to disagree with but someone needs to make judgements and enforce them. Asking this guy to publish after fourteen years when there is evidence he is just running some internet/Animal Planet tv show, seems reasonable.

      For other commenters, do you really think it is a good idea for humans and bears to “coexist”? Personally I will always want some physical barrier between me and such a large, wild, dangerous animal. Would you feel safe or unconcerned about your children if you were camping on a camp ground with bears freely roaming around?

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/23/2013 - 07:55 pm.

        We must co-exist

        The Black bears we have in MN are not very dangerous. You’re more likely to get bit by a skunk or a possum. Moose are far more dangerous. Anyways, yes I expect to co-exist, I do not want to live in a world populated by human beings alone, that sounds like Hell to me.

        Nevertheless there’s no scientific legitimacy to this “research” and the DNR’s concerns are justified. Bears and people should keep a healthy distance from each other.

  8. Submitted by Jim Camery on 07/23/2013 - 11:28 am.

    They protect their own

    Rogers is a bit of a showman, for certain, but the DNR is more than a bit of a bureaucracy. Once a decision is made, never reconsider, never stray from the policy. There’s room for both sides to give a little here.

  9. Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 07/23/2013 - 11:34 am.

    additional info from the Wildlife Research Institute web site…

    I googled Mr. Rogers and hit what I think is his main web site. I quote the following:

    “Rogers has written over a hundred scientific articles on black bear behavior and ecology and has served as senior author on more peer-reviewed scientific articles on bears than anyone in the world. He has created several museum exhibits and has edited many scientific articles, books, and TV scripts. In Minnesota, Rogers worked with the legislature and the Department of Natural Resources to improve bear management.”

    I scanned through a couple articles and they look pretty academic. Don’t know if these may have been from previous work and from what was said in the article above none of these came out of his recent research. Doesn’t sound like a total flake though.

    • Submitted by Steve Titterud on 07/23/2013 - 04:36 pm.

      Bill, remember that you’re reading from his own site…

      …so you might expect it makes his work sound praiseworthy.

      If what you’ve quoted is actually true (more peer-reviewed scientific articles on bears than ANYONE IN THE WORLD) – and true by the SAME PUBLICATION CRITERIA that the DNR has demanded, including the “research” under the current permits – then the entire DNR is in some kind of hallucinatory delusion. Can’t they read ??

      • Submitted by Bill Schletzer on 07/24/2013 - 08:08 am.

        I understand that, Steve

        I was just throwing it in to offer some balance and extra information. If you read my other posts I’m generally on your side. I just think all information is worth examining. There is Rogers on one side and the DNR on the other side. All we have heard on this site is the DNR take in their own words. Seems fair to hear from him in his own words. For some reason he has a lot of supporters.

        • Submitted by Deb Oliver on 07/24/2013 - 12:33 pm.

          supprters

          No, not as many as they like to claim. I was a mod on the LTBB page and that 144 thousand is not all the supporters. That is why they only got a few thousand on the petition they did and why only 20 showed up at the hearing with posters. They just make a lot of noise and scream and holler so that it appears to be more. His donations are off, FB used to show how many were actually interacting with the FB and it was 2600…at most…so no, the number is not as high as one might think.

    • Submitted by Doug jones on 07/24/2013 - 09:19 am.

      The big problem is “behavior”

      Anything he’s written on behavior and ecology, particularly relating to his methods the past 14 years, is suspect. He’s not looking at natural behavior of the bears, he’s looking at the behavior of bears who have been habituated to humans.

      I do a lot of work on public education about bears, as well as dealing with them, and nothing he’s done under this permit and his public actions make me believe that he’s doing anything but running a zoo or a game farm, and claiming it’s “research”. If I can hand feed a bear, or they don’t move (run, more often) away from me when I approach, then there’s a problem. That usually means that the bear is going to end up *dead* at some point in the near future. The usual cause of that is well-meaning idiots who feed bears, causing them to associate people with “getting an easy meal.”

  10. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 07/23/2013 - 12:23 pm.

    I am curious, Mr. Grow,

    about why you put researcher in quotation marks for Dr. Rogers?

    By describing him as a “researcher” are you trying to imply that he is not a researcher?

    If you go to Google scholar and type in “Lynn Rogers bears” you will find numerous citations to the scientific literature in which Rogers – often with co-workers – describes research in the field of bear behavior.

    The main dispute appears to be whether Rogers’ goal – to make bears more friendly so that bears and humans can co-exist – is a good one. Some of the pictures on the web of Rogers nuzzling a bear or almost sticking his head in the mouth of a bear are rather disturbing.

    Northern Minnesota is not Jellystone Park and bears don’t really behave like Smokey. I am afraid that I fall on the side of the DNR and their concern for public safety. This seems to be the consensus also at the national parks and their bear policies.

    Nevertheless, to imply that Rogers is not a bear researcher, given his long history in the field, seems unfair.

  11. Submitted by jody rooney on 07/23/2013 - 12:45 pm.

    There are a lot of good points here

    I have not been a fan of the DNR for a long time and neither have a lot of their employees. Many that I know are counting the days to retirement. Poor leadership at the DNR has been the cause of a lot of its problems. I would say that Sando was the last good commissioner and Alexander was the last great one. This looks a lot like they are picking a fight because they can.

    I believe there is value in creating an affinity for wildlife among children. As one who grew up with Disney being the interpreter of wild life I find this a cut above as far as his live feed goes. So at that level I think what he is doing is successful particularly if he is not supported by the public.

    As far as the scientific nature of his work I do think there is value but only if published. He no doubt has made some useful observations that could advance the science and it would be good if it could be captured.

    I believe however that Mr. Rogers like a lot of the DNR people have retired on the job.

    I would seek an agreement to let him continue filming on the condition that he allow his data to be used by researchers or grad students whose primary goal is to publish.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/23/2013 - 01:12 pm.

      An affinity for wildlife

      There is also a value in keeping a healthy, respectful distance from potentially dangerous wildlife. People who see bears as cuddly performers of amusing stunts are not going to give the animals the distance they want.

    • Submitted by Robert McManus on 07/23/2013 - 02:39 pm.

      Rod Sando gave away the Bayport Wildlife Management Area to the Andersen Corporation at the order of Arnie Carlson, ostensibly for a new factory to bring 3000 jobs to Bayport. A law was passed and rescinded shortly thereafter to facilitate this one time “sale”(gift actually) of public land to a private party. This is unconstitutional. The concerned citizens in attendance were ushered away from the scene of the crime at the capitol so that they could not interfere. A fraction of the jobs promised by the Andersen Corporation and their stooges in state government are now at a facility in Menominee, WI. The former Bayport Wildlife Area land in question is now a housing development. So, lets not kid ourselves about the DNR or Rod Sando.

      I’m a hardcore volunteer for the DNR by the way.

      • Submitted by jody rooney on 07/26/2013 - 01:55 pm.

        I didn’t say Sando was great and I am sorry he messed in your

        back yard. But it was something in your back yard and it sounds more like a NIMBY issue. Housing was not a good use of the site because it is probably in the flood plain, but then I don’t know that a WMA was either.

        I don’t want to start a listing of transgressions by DNR officials including the much revered late Bill Morrisey who saddled the state with cookie cutter state parks that they couldn’t afford and are unwilling to either charge sufficient fees or budget to maintain.

        Asking people in rural region if they wanted a state park during a needs assessment was somewhat akin to asking a community would like the state to spend $5,000,000 in your community or nothing. Saying the state is going to give this area $5,000,000 prioritize what you would spend it on would have allocated resources more meaningfully.

        But given the quality of the DNR Commissioners since then do you really want to make say he was really as bad?

  12. Submitted by Michael Hess on 07/23/2013 - 02:31 pm.

    Understand how to appeal to the DFL

    Perhaps they can find a way for the state to tax the bear collars. Then the Govenor would get excited about this project moving forward!

  13. Submitted by Steve Titterud on 07/23/2013 - 04:46 pm.

    God forbid this hand-feeding of bears should catch on…

    …as the bears teach their young how and where to get food.

    In the wild, and left to the their own devices, and so long as there is food available, bears don’t tend to seek out humans – in fact, they tend to give people a wide berth. Not that they’re so spooky that they won’t go through someone’s garbage or landfill.

    When I go for a walk in the woods, I don’t want the bears to be thinking, “Fantastic, here come the people !! Let’s go get some grub.”

  14. Submitted by Molly Redmond on 07/23/2013 - 04:51 pm.

    Buddying up with bears

    Many of Lynn Rogers’ supporters at the press conference and in the comments here seem to give little attention to the safety issues referenced by the DNR. Today’s Star Tribune story about Rogers’ and his partly-wild, partly-tame bears gives some specifics regarding their threat to public safety. These include episodes of his collared bears stalking hikers, and invading a garage where children were playing–and parents not able to scare it away!
    Pulling the permit should have been done long ago, when these complaints started. Are we waiting for someone to get killed? And if, God forbid, someone were to be killed, how would that affect the visitors who are such a crucial part of Ely’s economy?

    See the article at http://www.startribune.com/local/216450951.html

  15. Submitted by Dan Bosch on 07/23/2013 - 07:17 pm.

    I agree with the DNR that habituating bears is bad,

    but when will it eliminate bait piles for hunting?

  16. Submitted by linda medin on 07/24/2013 - 06:29 am.

    I support the DNR

    I am a camp ground host near Ely. Campers can take normal precautions against truly wild bears by hanging their food in the trees. Against semi-wild bears who associate humans with food, there aren’t any precautions one can take. We should let the bears be wild animals for the sake of the bears and the people.

  17. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/24/2013 - 09:31 am.

    Publicity meets science

    Its always interesting when public perceptions meet science. I’m not trying to insult anyone but scientific illiteracy really blooms in these situations. “Research” isn’t just watching something, or videotaping something. And watching something or recording it isn’t collecting “data”.

    The key element of scientific investigation is application of some kind of systematic observation and data collection. Data that’s collected unsystematically without clear research objectives is junk data. Someone suggested that maybe someone else could use Roger’s “data” to publish something in a peer reviewed journal. No one can use junk data.

    If all Roger’s has if 14 years worth of video and tracking logs that show bears wandering around in the woods he’s got junk data, and THAT’S probably why he hasn’t published anything. This book he’s talking about writing is not a peer reviewed publication required by his permit. The fact that Roger’s has been feeding and habituating these bears makes the tracking data junk because he’s not making naturalistic observations. All the collars have allowed him to do is find the dens.

    You have to ask, what exactly is it that Rogers is trying to find out? What NEW information is he adding to the existing field of knowledge? So far nothing.

    Listen, it might be cool to see bears give birth live, but it’s not scientifically significant. We know bears give birth in dens, during the winter. We also have and have had existing footage of this.

    Regardless of whatever problems the DNR might have Rogers has been permitted for 14 years. This is not a “snap” bureaucratic decision, the matter has been considered and reconsidered every year for 14 years. There’s nothing ominous or suspicious about the fact that DNR has made a decision. Decisions don’t become conspiracies just because don’t agree with them.

    The DNR is right to weigh the value of Roger’s observations against the possible danger he’s creating with his intimate relationship with these bears. Everything we know about bears, and Rogers has produced no data to refute this, tells us that something will eventually go wrong and someone will get hurt. Bears are large and powerful creatures that can be dangerous even if they’re not trying to hurt anyone. Just being a bear around people can get someone seriously injured. For instance if a adult bear tried to play with a person the way they play with each other they would seriously hurt someone. Then we’d be forced to kill a bear just because it was playful.

    • Submitted by John Ferman on 07/24/2013 - 02:01 pm.

      Re: Publicity meets science

      One point I was trying to make was that DNR is not in a position to decide who may or may not conduct research, whether junk or scholarly. DNR is charged to maintain the quality of our environment (stocking fish, managing parks, taking measures to maintain wildlife habitat, etc), selling licenses and permits, but not sponsor nor restrict investigatory activities. Your point about research having a systematics is quite true. But think of what was known and understood in Darwin’s time – there were no postulates, no theory, no developed ways to systemetize data collection, at most common sense ways to draw conclusions. I agree that Rodgers’ data sheds no light on bear behavior, but DNR should not have the power to decide its validity or value – that is the province of scholars.

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/25/2013 - 11:18 am.

        Still missing the point

        The point is that the DNR does get to decide who puts radio collars on bears and video cameras in bear dens. Rogers can still do research he just can’t use collars cameras in dens. The DNR gets their authority by statute. These bears do not belong to Rogers, they are a natural resource, the “R” in DNR.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 07/25/2013 - 12:08 pm.

        It is the DNR’s job

        In this situation, it is up to the DNR to decide if research is valid (“valid” meaning producing some results). Rogers needs a state permit to collar bears, and, as a part of its environmental protection mandate, the DNR regulates collaring. A permit requires a showing that the permitee is going to do more than make more fun videos for tourists.

  18. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/24/2013 - 12:30 pm.

    Published research

    Prompted by Bill S. I looked at Rogers website as well. Based on what Rogers himself has posted there he Has NOT published any papers in a peer reviewed journal, using data collected in the last 14 years while working under the DNR permit.

    If you look at the published papers he presents on his website you’ll see all but one are workshop transcripts, articles in newsletters, etc. Of the two that were peer reviewed, only one list Rogers as the primary author. The DNR maybe picking nit’s but its it worth asking. The one paper that actually uses data collected during the 14 permitted time frame is paper about Blastomycosis published in a veterinary journal in 2012. Again, Rogers is not the primary author on that.

    The remaining remaining article is kind of strange. They study the effects of diversionary feeding of bears and whether or not that habituation creates dangerous situations. What’s strange about this article is that although it’s published in 2011, they use observations and data collected back in the 1980s and 1991. This is kind of weird. For one thing, although it meets the criteria of publishing, it fails to use data or observations from the permitted era. Furthermore, don’t you think it’s kind of weird that 14 years of recent observation hasn’t produced any recent data that they could’ve used for a paper in 2011? Why are they grabbing data from the 1980s? This just adds more weight to the suspicion that the data and observations collected in the last 14 years is junk.

    • Submitted by John Ferman on 07/24/2013 - 05:29 pm.

      Re: Published Research

      Many collectors of data never get their names on papers in the journals, so not being a primary author means little. What counts is the value of the data to the subject of the paper. My point was just where does the DNR get the power to value of anyones’ work. Is Rodgers doing his thing on DNR property?

      • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/25/2013 - 11:21 am.

        Completely wrong

        Sorry John, getting your name on the list of authors means EVERYTHING. There’s a reason the authors are listed in order. As a general rule anyone who has contributed significantly to the paper get listed as an author. The DNR gets the power to issue permits by statute. Rogers needs a permit to do what he’s doing. It’s very much like the hunting and fishing permits you get from the DNR.

  19. Submitted by Deb Oliver on 07/24/2013 - 12:22 pm.

    In Support of the DNR and Facts

    I am a big believer in Facts and that is what research should be based on. No matter how many ways Rogers or his followers cut it, the facts are:

    1. He did NOT complete the requirements to keep his permit. This is not a conspiracy and this is not the first time that he has been confronted on this. The DNR has worked hard to work with Rogers and keep him going but this last time, after he was told on the previous permit six months ago to publish or else, he still refused to do the work. And yet he had the time to publish an 80 something page document as to why he could NOT publish. Does not make sense. This alone is enough to require him to remove the collars.

    2. He did hit a bear in the fact and admitted on the tape that he probably should not have done that since he knew he was making the bear nervous being that close. He calls is training the bear but we call it abusing the bear. He then proceeds to laugh about hitting this bear and tells of all the other bears he has hit over the years. This is fact. It is on video. It can not be disputed.

    3. He does not have enough peer reviewed papers. Four papers since 99 is very weak peer reviewed publishing so it is understandable that the DNR wants more before issuing a RESEARCH permit. This is not an Education permit as the fans would like you to think but a research permit.

    4. Peer reviewed is NOT posting on a Facebook page updates and showing little videos. Fans are not peers. Peer reviewed means having others who work in the same field review it.

    ALL are simple facts above. And the mere fact that his followers “Mauled” Dayton and were rude with him shows something about those who are following the so called research. Research is valid work if it is done. But make no mistake…while research can be educational…education is not research. And that is where the followers lose their way; Watching cams, dressing bears in tutu’s, walking around in bear costumes, etc are NOT research. They are fun, cute things to do but they are not research. And telling people that black bears are harmless is not education. Black bears are wild bears. The video itself proves the point. If the bear would lunge and swat at Rogers, what would he do to a child or a woman out walking who gets to close especially if they have food.

    And last fact: Ask most fans what his research has shown that has never been seen before and they can not name you three things. They can tell you they were educated and that is wonderful. The NABC will continue to educate and continue to draw people into the little town of Ely. But the WRI is NOT the NABC.

    Instead of doing all the procrastinating he has done, Rogers should have spent that time giving good faith and publishing like he was required to do. REQUIRED. He failed the test. If you are required to complete this or that to get your Teacher’s certificate and fail to do it, quess what….you don’t get your certificate.

    And one more Fact as a person who said she used the bear stuff for her classroom. The stuff she used is all available from the NABC. There is nothing to stop educators from continuing to educate their classes.

    I totally support the DNR’s decisions especially having worked as a volunteer for Rogers and hearing him more than once say that he does not like nor want to do research …that it interferes with walking with the bears and only six people read it. Fine, if that is how he feels. Let him drop the permit and walk in the woods and watch the bears. They quote that Sue Mansfield is the best tracker around. I am sure she would have no problem tracking the bears for him to watch.

    I truly wanted Rogers to man up and do the research instead of continuing his control fight with the DNR. He did not want to do the research and so he didn’t. And now he sits with no permit.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 07/25/2013 - 11:26 am.

      4 peer reviewed articles?

      Where are you getting that figure? Grow says zero, I found one, but it used data from the 1980s. 4 actually wouldn’t be bad. It can take a couple years to collect the data, a year to write, and a year or more to get through the peer review and publishing process.

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