Wild Bear Researcher Dr. Lynn Rogers Loses Research Permit

By KBJR News 1

June 28, 2013 Updated Jun 28, 2013 at 10:27 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --- World–famous bear researcher Dr. Lynn Rogers will no longer be able to do sanctioned research on collared bears near Ely.

Rogers called Friday's decision from the Minnesota DNR devastating, saying he's contributed to a positive focus on the region's black bear population.

For more than four decades Dr. Lynn Rogers has promoted northern Minnesota's black bear population around the world, making Lily the black bear an internet sensation.

But in a letter issued to Rogers Friday, the DNR says it's not renewing his permit to research black bears on the basis, they say, he has contributed to the habitation of black bears in northern Minnesota and promoted the animal in an unprofessional manner, something Rogers denies.

"The stuff they're putting out is unfounded, falsified, solicited," said Dr. Lynn Rogers, black bear researcher.

DNR reports indicate numerous complaints from people living and visiting the research area dating back to 2011.

Many of the complaints list the bears as a "chronic nuisance" and say they are dangerous to humans.

With DNR officials saying, these numerous complaints concerning habituated bears in the area prompted them to take action.

"It's really becoming intolerable from our perspective, there are some long term ramifications of that many habituated bears, whether or not there's a permit, and that's our primary reason, we've got real concern about public safety," said Lou Cornicelli, DNR Wildlife Research Manager.

But Rogers isn't buying it, saying the decision is not in the best interest of the public.

And whether Rogers agrees with the DNR's decision or not, the action stands, meaning his years of dedicated controlled bear research are over.

"This spells the end of my forty–six years of black bear research and the most productive research in the last few years that I've ever had, thanks to new technology," said Rogers.

Rogers says he hopes his years of work has contributed to a positive focus and education on the black bear population in our region.

Rogers current research permit expires on July 31st, at which time all radio collars must be removed from the research bears.

Rogers has been licensed to do research on wild bears since 1999. He still has a game farm permit for an education center where he has domesticated bears.

Jeremy Brickley