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Her point/His point: Was bear attack victim’s award fair?
by Blaine Nichols
May 16, 2011 | 1264 views | 0 0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Four years ago, when young Samuel Ives was killed by a bear, my heart pained for his family. I still think of the danger he was taken by that Sunday evening; because that same danger exists for me, my children and grandchildren. The wilderness is so named because wild plants, rocks, critters and animals inhabit it.

The fact that Sam died should make us all keenly aware of the precious nature of our relationships while we’re here and the frailty of human life. Sadly it appears this tragic and violent death turned into a worship of money.

U.S. District Judge Dale Kimball, in awarding Sam’s estate the sum of $1.9 million, says the U.S. Forest Service was “required” to warn the family about a dangerous animal in the canyon. He said that the USFS owed them a duty “to warn them about the earlier incident, whether the warning was oral, by posting signs on the gate of Timpooneke Road 56, and/or by roping off the specific campsite.”

The ruling seems foolish to those of us who spend time in the wilds. We know that “thar’ be bears and dragons” there. We don’t need the U.S. Forest Service to tell us. And, if they don’t nanny our every move, we surely don’t expect them to be financially responsible for us if we choose to spend time in the wilderness.

With such an obtuse ruling one can only speculate what the next level of government “protection” will be.

People drown in reservoirs on Forest Service managed lands. Will the USFS prohibit boating and fishing to raise their level of nanny protection to a standard that will not allow them to be sued again?

Snakes bite people wearing flip-flops on FS managed land. Will the USFS require everyone to do a snake-proof boot check before venturing where the snakes are?

Now they have the money, Sam’s family claims they sued to prevent such tragedy from happening to others.

Their stated purpose for suing will be demonstrated when they donate their ill gotten gains to fund a “campers protection service” program ensuring that such a tragedy as happened in their family is never experienced by others. Until then, it’s all about the money.

Nichols is dedicated to preserving the “American dream” for his grandchildren through conservative principles.

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