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Reader's View: Letter on bear research neglected important facts

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opinion Duluth,Minnesota 55802 http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/sites/all/themes/duluthnewstribune_theme/images/social_default_image.png
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Reader's View: Letter on bear research neglected important facts
Duluth Minnesota 424 W. First St. 55802

When reading about Lynn Rogers and the Minnesota DNR we have to carefully parse the words and the reasons for them.

The writer of a July 11 letter, “Ending Rogers’ bear research is a tragedy,” neglected to say she published books about bears the Wildlife Research Institute has collared. She neglected to say she sells at least one of them for $245 and gives proceeds to the institute. These seem to me important facts that should be in the open. Full disclosure seems especially necessary when one stands to gain monetarily.

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With regard to what was in the letter, while one certainly can disagree or agree with Dr. Jane Goodall’s assertions, one certainly had to disagree with the statement: “Science and education — the sign of progress and the fundamental right that every human being has — has been severely damaged.”

The sign of scientific progress is simply not evident. The institute was granted a research permit in the Mud Creek Basin from 1999 until 2014. During those 15 years only two peer-reviewed papers resulted, and both only loosely based on the collared bears being studied. One was chief-authored by an individual not named on the permit. The other was denied publication by the journal Ursus before being accepted in an open-source journal with less stringent standards of peer review.

So where’s this huge groundbreaking scientific record and progress that the DNR is halting?

Most certainly no rights have been abrogated by the decision not to renew the institute’s permit. Such permits are a privilege granted to those deemed worthy to have access to the resources of the people of the state of Minnesota.

Further, there’s no evidence for the letter’s claim of malfeasance by the DNR.

The DNR, the Minnesota governor and the Honorable Judge Tammy Pust were correct in their assessments. Now is the time to shut this down.

Christopher Mihans

Youngsville, N.C.

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