I have no doubt that every single business that is a member of KPTMC does their very best to preserve the future of their business while fulfilling commitments to their customers and meeting the needs of their family. Sometimes though I believe many of us are more than a little guilty of what I refer to as the “more is better syndrome”.
Generally the “more is better syndrome” begins to show its colors when the demand for a product or service exceeds the current local or regional supply. Demand for particular products or services is generally an indication product popularity and or product quality, however in the limited areas of the bear viewing business these very things are also encompassing a fast growing population of visitors and outside business interests moving into the marketplace to score the easy buck.
Bear viewing operators in Southwest and South Central Alaska are attempting to meet the demand, but there is the question, should we? Too many operators and too many flights with too many people are certain to displace the bears and other wildlife, not to mention the impact on the habitat and this my friends is where we will kill the golden goose.
How might we prevent this from happening? Personally I do not believe this is going to be and easy thing to do as human greed has accelerated to the point that most people today will blindly sacrifice a finite resource to “get their share”, even something as simple as water of which there seems to be no end, but there is and generations yet to come will pay a heavy price for the legacy we may leave them.
I believe if we all would be satisfied in making a fair profit, fulfilling the needs of our family and maintaining the quality of our visitor businesses so as not to damage the environment for the long term things might stabilize, but as long as we have those who live by “more is better” demanding “their share” the quality of the bear viewing product we market to our visitors will continue to erode.
The choice is ours. Do we self regulate or do we have happen to us what happened to India’s tiger reserves? In India wise game managers recognized the impact of too many people, using more and more motorized off-road travel making it easier to access to the tigers and effectively displacing the tigers. India attempted to close those reserves to all so that the tigers would not be displaced and ultimately destroyed. The outcry from the tour operators, tour organizations and professional photographers was tremendous, screaming bloody murder “you cannot close these areas as it feeds and supports so many people and businesses”, ah yes, it does…..too many and now it is too late for the tigers.
“One way to open your eyes is to ask yourself,
‘What if I had never seen this before?
What if I knew I would never see it again?”