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Ely bear researcher gets meeting with governor

Ely bear researcher Lynn Rogers will get a chance to meet with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton next week in hopes he can persuade state officials to change their minds about not allowing him to collar bears any more.

Lynn Rogers
Bear researcher Lynn Rogers uses a radio antenna and receiver to track the signal from a collar worn by one of his research bears. (File / News Tribune)

Ely bear researcher Lynn Rogers will get a chance to meet with Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton next week in hopes he can persuade state officials to change their minds about not allowing him to collar bears any more.

Matt Swenson, a spokesman for Dayton's office, said Rogers will meet with Dayton in an early afternoon session Monday in the governor's office.

Earlier this month, Rogers told his legions of followers on social media sites that he'd like to persuade Dayton to reverse or modify a Department of Natural Resources decision to pull his permits for bear work.

Late last month the DNR informed Rogers and his associate, Sue Mansfield, that they could no longer put collars on bears or place cameras in bear dens after July 31. Rogers said the move will end his 46-year career in bear research.

Rogers' supporters have begun stocking a legal fund with contributions, and have compiled thousands of signatures protesting the DNR's actions. It's not clear what legal recourse Rogers might have. Some of his supporters have urged him to seek a court injunction against the DNR's move.

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The DNR says Rogers' research bears in Eagles Nest Township near Ely have become habituated to human food and might be a danger to local residents. They also say Rogers' work with bears has failed to produce any recent scientific results.

While Rogers uses food to befriend bears, he needs radio transmitter collars to find them in the woods.

Related Topics: ELYENVIRONMENT
John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
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