Today the DNR declined to renew the research permit for Dr. Lynn Rogers and the Wildlife Research Institute, citing "unprofessional behavior." The DNR has long been antagonistic toward Dr. Rogers' and his work, and in our opinion, the refusal to renew the permit is reflective of this personal animosity, rather than what is best for the bears and for Minnesota.
The research conducted by Dr. Rogers and his associates is the longest on-going study of black bears. His techniques are the same as those used by many biologists studying animals, including Jane Goodall, Dian Fossey, and Birute Galdikus, and have proven to be effective and non-invasive over and over again. Dr. Rogers' years of research are an invaluable library of information on the black bears of Minnesota.
In addition, Dr. Rogers' research has brought Minnesota and its beautiful landscapes and wildlife to the attention of hundreds of thousands of people across the world. People come from all over to visit Ely and its environs; supporters of Dr. Rogers have raised thousands of dollars online for Minnesota schools and parks. Dr. Rogers' research has given uncalcuable benefit, not only to the bears and our understanding of them, but to the state and people of Minnesota.
We, the undersigned, request that you strongly urge the Minnesota DNR to put aside their personal grievances and differences with Dr. Rogers, and instead reflect the real concerns and needs of Minnesota and its wildlife by immediately reinstating his research permit.