Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 31

NatioNal Wild turkey FederatioN

The comeback of the wild turkey has been called "the greatest conservation success story in
history" by Tom Hughes of the National Wild Turkey Federation.

"Living in close proximity to
wild animals can be a positive
thing, it gives us a chance to
really appreciate and view
wildlife up close and share our
space with them."
Can't We All Just Get Along?

Dealing with animal intruders that
decimate hostas, eat sunflower seeds
set out for the birds, or frighten us
with their size begins with understanding their habits, changing our
own, and accepting the fact that
they're here to stay, says Griffin.

"Human beings have a very
disconnected perception of these
things, because we are human," he
says. "We see our space as humanbuilt, and in the mountains where
there is pristine nature-that's natural and that's where animals belong.
The animals don't see the difference.

They use what meets their needs. If
that happens to be in a shed in your
back yard or in a tree or an urban
park, then that's fine."
Living in close proximity to wild
animals can be a positive thing,
says Ben Prater, the Asheville, North
Carolina-based Southeast director
for field conservation at Defenders
of Wildlife, because it "gives us a
chance to really appreciate and view
wildlife up close and share our space
with them. Our role is to accept and
respect that every wild thing out
there also has a role to play. There's
a reason it exists."
Putting the danger in perspective
is important too. Despite the hyped
media coverage of sightings and attacks, Sajecki points out, since 1900
there have only been 69 fatalities
caused by black bears in all of North
America, including Canada. And
sensationalistic news reports can do
more harm than good, Waters says:
"There is no more risk today than
there was yesterday. It's not like the
bears had a union meeting and decided to eat people."
Real attacks by wild animals are
tragic and not to be minimized, says
Prater. "But the threat is miniscule,
and the need to have a good common-sense approach when you're
sharing space with wild animals is
really where it starts. ... It's really
about striking a balance and also
being able to build tolerance for
sharing our landscapes with these
animals."
After learning more about bear
behavior at their community meeting, Powley and her neighbors became more mindful about limiting
access to bird feeders, garbage cans
and grill residue. They hauled away
the dumpster where she saw the two
juveniles. And the sightings went
down.
"I have a better respect for the
bears," she says. Before, "It was like,
'somebody's gotta get rid of these
bears. Somebody's gonna get hurt.'
Now I don't think that's the case.
We learned what we need to do so
we can be safe and the bears can be
safe too." 
November/December 2016 31



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016

Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Contents
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 22
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - 35
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Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - November/December 2016 - Cover4
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