Ely, Minn. - Following appeals from both Dr. Lynn Rogers and the city of Ely, Governor Mark Dayton says he is looking forward to meeting with the bear researcher to discuss the state's recent decision to pull Rogers' permit to collar bears.
Dr. Rogers posted this statement on his daily blog on BearStudy.org:
"We received a message back from Governor Mark Dayton's office saying the governor is looking forward to meeting with us. We're now trying to find out how soon that can happen. Time is of the essence. We should know more on Friday."
Last week, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources announced that they would not renew Dr. Rogers' permit on the basis that he has contributed to the habitation of black bears in northern Minnesota and promoted the animal in an unprofessional manner.
Rogers says the DNR's decision is not in the best interest of the public and that he hopes his years of work has contributed to a positive focus and education on the black bear population in the region.
Ely's Mayor Ross Petersen says when the DNR made their decision not to renew Dr. Rogers permit, they didn't take into account how much revenue Rogers' research and the bear center has on the local economy. He estimates roughly $1 million comes into Ely through tourism dollars every year because of Rogers' research.
Rogers' current research permit expires on July 31st, at which time all radio collars must be removed from the research bears.
(Copyright 2013 by KARE. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. )