Skip to comments.Women who fed bears on trial in Lincoln County (OR)
Posted on 05/28/2009 7:13:25 PM PDT by jazusamo
NEWPORT - When Dena Pickner awoke to a commotion at her Yachats house last June, she expected to find a raccoon. Instead, she climbed out of bed and saw a black bear coming through her dog door.
"His head was stuck and he couldn't get out," Pickner told those in a court room at the Lincoln County Courthouse here this morning. "He grunted, backed up and took the dog door with him."
Two weeks later, the black bear was dead, one of four shot to death in a four-week period last summer in Yachats.
Now a Yachats woman is on trial for feeding the bears - and allegedly putting herself and her community in harm's way.
Karen Noyes faces four counts of chasing and harassing wildlife and five counts of recklessly endangering another person. Each carries a maximum penalty of one year in prison and a $6,250 fine.
"She created a situation where bears weren't afraid of people anymore," said Lincoln County Deputy District Attorney Elijah Michalowski . "People were telling her she needed to stop, yet she refused. She not only put herself at risk, she put all her neighbors at risk."
Noyes insists she's done nothing wrong.
"I feed bears; it's not illegal" said Noyes in a telephone interview before the trial. "Fish and Game has made a big deal out of this. They have made up their minds that bears are dangerous."
Noyes, 61, said she started feeding the bears several years ago when a large one showed up as she fed the birds.
"It scared me. Then I thought 'why should I feed them and not him?'"
One summer, she said she fed as many as 25 of the animals on a regular basis.
"Right now, I've got a half a dozen," she said. "They are perfectly safe. They are timid and really sweet."
At least until they are hungry. Last summer, Noyes went on vacation. When she returned, a bear broke her window.
"He was not doing it maliciously," she said. "He was knocking on the garage door and accidentally broke the window."
Noyes called Fish and Wildlife looking only, she said, for help in getting the bear to leave.
But Tami Wagner, the biologist who took her call, said Noyes was scared.
And she wasn't the only one.
Pickner has lived on Yachats River Road since 1973, and is about four-tenths of a mile from Noyes' house. She'd never seen a bear on her property until last summer. Most of the bears ran when she yelled. Except for one. That bear was close to 4 feet tall on all fours, and weighed about 300 to 400 pounds, Pickner guesses.
"He was not afraid of me. Even when he got stuck in the dog door, he just sauntered around."
Nearby, Vicky and Derek Prince, who raise endangered farm birds, saw so many bears last summer that they refused to walk the property unarmed. They said the bears tore down fences and crushed sheds. Then, one night, a bear broke into the turkey house.
"He ripped open the side of the barn and annihilated our flock," said Vicky Prince. "We lost 60 turkeys."
The trial continues today when the court will hear the defense's star witness, Lynn Rogers , a biologist featured on Animal Planet TV's "The Man Who Walks With Bears."
"This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard of," said Rogers, who is staying with Noyes during the trial. "What Karen was doing was reducing the bear problem by feeding them here, then hungry bears don't have to go elsewhere.
"There is no science behind any of these charges," he said. "They are made by people who have no knowledge of bear behavior, people who haven't walked with bears as I have for 42 years."
The trial, being argued before Judge Thomas Branford, is likely to go to the jury Friday or Tuesday.
Karen is a moron.
We have bears living on the mountain behind us, and I wait until midnight before the 4 A.M. garbage collection to put any food refuse in the garbage can. Feeding bears turns an animal you can probably live with into a problem bear.
I imagine her neighbors are beside themselves. I lived in a rural area of southern OR and if any of my neighbors had done this I’d have had Fish and Game there in a hurry.
She sure is. Everyone knows bears love pic-a-nic baskets.
Bears eat alot. how do these idiots justify spending that much money on bear food to feed that many bears? If they are all getting fresh produce like in that pic, the grocery bill has got to rival a house payment.
I’d bet she’s crazy enough to think they would starve if she didn’t feed them
Well, if there’s 25 of them living within a leisurely stroll of her house, she’d probably be right. 25 bears in one neighborhood just isn’t natural.
The neighbors better get a pack of pitbulls, right chet?
“One summer, she said she fed as many as 25 of the animals on a regular basis.
“Right now, I’ve got a half a dozen,” she said. “They are perfectly safe. They are timid and really sweet.”
Yeah and I bet they think she tastes like chicken. Why can’t she get better hobby like raising 50 cats in her house. What a loon.
OMG! Ha she never seen the National Geographic show about the guy who lived with them and eventually was eaten by the bears? Now that the bears know where the food no one is safe in that neighborhood.
LOL! Good one. I wonder what she thinks of those cuddly polar bears now.
She’s certifiable. Saw the video on that, still don’t know how she survived.
Uh, how about because bears can rip your head off, and little birdies can't?
(...just a thought...)
And proud of it, apparently!
If I was the neighbor, I'd be suing her for the lost turkeys too.
When Ya Hots, Yachats!
Pray for America and Our Troops
And at the end of subsidizing the bears do you have fewer bears or more bears? ---- this idiot woman is clearly a socialist.