Rural System's

The Black Bear Group
from bear conference announcement, 2003

The black bear is a complex animal. The black bear population is complex. The bear is a potential resource, far greater than imagined as simply an animal or an animal population. Working with that concept of a complex, potential resource with net benefits within the context of Rural System is the work of The Black Bear Group.
There is great interest in the bear as a game animal, a tourist attraction, a livestock killer, a bee hive and conifer pest, and an interesting component of the natural ecosystem. They, like the grizzly, work with young for several years. In this is an important message for families and youth needing care and instruction for many years in the future society. Much is known, but the list of questions is longer than the answers.

The Black Bear Group is formed to gather knowledge, primarily studies done at Virginia Tech and then elsewhere, synthesize it, create powerful models, use the results in all of the enterprises for tourism, recreation protection, reducing costs and damage, and drawing a different clientele to the area for many purposes. One of its most important tasks is to stabilize planned superior research into the black bear and the proper management of its populations. Of course The Black Bear Group will be the first user of the results of such studies.

The bear can become an important part of the present backcountry system. It is seen as an unexploited resource that can be preserved, stabilized, and net gains made by its presence.

The Black Bear Group will likely do most of the following...

  1. Conduct hunts (local, nationally, internationally)
  2. Advertise and promote promotersences for favored groups following the Rural System code
  3. Process hides, flesh, bones, and body parts
  4. Conduct tooth aging
  5. Do food habits analyses (see the Unified Laboratory)
  6. Sponsor excellent taxidermy
  7. Conduct wildlife law enforcement research
  8. Promote law enforcement and work against illegal action
  9. Prevent bear-related accidents and events
  10. Promote sale and care of superior hounds
  11. Provide a hound grading service with Good Dog
  12. Provide a speaker service
  13. Advertise lodges and facilities and expeditions for individuals and groups with intense interest in bears
  14. Vast areas may be grossly mapped for black bear suitability, contacts with humans, damage occurrence, location of superior forage, and suitability for denning. The union of the GIS with modeling allows maps to be produced that provide field guidance, help allocate time spent in areas, and show where monitoring and inspections are most important. Sensitivity analyses direct work to most influential areas.
    Develop a GIS system relating to all aspects of the ecology and use of the bear
  15. Create a world-class population model of the bear and its benefit stream
  16. Sponsor alternatives to bear parts in Asian medicine
  17. Conduct prescribed burns for bear habitat production
  18. Develop trails (with The Stoneworms) into bear country
  19. Conduct tours into bear country
  20. Conduct bear den tours
  21. Encourage photography; provide photo blinds
  22. Conduct a black bear photo contest with prize money
  23. Sponsor wood carving contest (bear or bear-related)(see The Sculptors)
  24. Sell quality bear related art work
  25. Provide memberships with newsletter and services
  26. Hold periodic conferences on the black bear
  27. Present a regional and national lecture series
  28. Conduct contract research
  29. Provide a variety of consulting services including reducing bear damage,maraudingg, and threats
  30. Market a bear-related educational game ( Gamma)
  31. Write and sell books on the bear. Publish books on a variety of bear subjects (from folk tales to technical)
  32. Conduct horseback rides into ancient forests
  33. Sponsor ecotourism, both locally and internationally (see Tours Group) with participants seeking to see all of the bears of the world, perhaps photograph them
  34. Sponsor a membership class in which a black bear hunter progresses through 10 levels of increasingly rigorous standards and challenges
  35. Sell slide shows and photographs of bear and related systems; offer TV units that include Rural System name recognition
  36. Conduct a summer course for university students on bear systems (showing the Rural System concepts by means of the black bear)
  37. Selling select software useful in the wildlands of the black bear.
  38. Consider affiliation with the American Bear Association PO Box 77, Orr, MN 55771; Phone : 218-757-0172





There are now many biologists that have studied bear. Their work is not well integrated. Specialists have developed. Increasingly bears interact with people, populations of each interact. Hunting seasons are regulated using knowledge of bear biology but also of human knowledge of bears, their growing experience with them, their potential effects, and theaffectss of hunting or failure to do so to reduce damage or its risk of occurrence. There arelethaln and other controls of damage or its potential. Bear to human actions can be predicted as a function of residential expansion into ruralareas afterr study. We propose a series of in-depth interviews. We propose to recruit a superior biologist/ecologist that is systems oriented and to develop a knowledge-based program and one to do all of the above things, unified. No simple limits can be set but a new, developing enterprise is expected to develop into a full time operation with the products, services, and opportunities of The Black Bear Group.

See International Association for Bear Research and Management (IBA)

Perhaps you will share ideas with me about some of the topic(s) above .

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Robert H. Giles, Jr.
February 17, 2006;4-12-2013