Ursa Major: Life-long bear biologist Lynn Rogers is known as the “Jane Goodall of Black Bears.”Most people think Lynn Rogers is crazy. The 71-year-old wildlife biologist walks with bears. He follows black bears for miles as they search for food through the Northwoods of Minnesota, trudging through marshes, straddling fallen trees, and kayaking across lakes to keep up with them. He studies their behavior and development from extremely close distances over 24-hour periods, sometimes even resting right beside them. Because of the trust these bears have for him, he’s become known as the “Jane Goodall of black bears.”Rogers, head of Minnesota’s Wildlife Research Institute, has authored dozens of peer-reviewed papers on black bears. Several of his discoveries are owed to his close contact with bears. In over 40 years of research, though, he believes his most important finding is that black bears are not the vicious animals we once thought they were. Bear Basics In the Southeastern U.S., the black bear population is growing steadily. That’s why bears are classified as game animals in states like Tennessee, Virginia, and North Carolina.“A lot of people don’t realize how adaptable this animal is,” says research ecologist Frank van Manen of the U.S. Geological Survey. “This species is a very opportunistic one.”Over the past 80 years, the situation for black bears has improved, van Manen says. The Southern Appalachians are no longer heavily exploited for timber as they were in the 1930s. In addition, forests in the Southeast are dominated by oak trees, which have been highly productive, he says. That means more acorns for bears.In Louisiana and Florida, however, the situation is different. Louisiana’s subspecies of black bears is classified as “threatened” by the Endangered Species Act. Although Florida’s subspecies is not listed by the federal government, the state classifies it as “threatened.”Across the country, the biggest threat facing the planet’s largest mammal is the shrinking and fragmentation of its habitat. As development encroaches on wild spaces, black bears are losing their homes and their natural sources of food. This is causing an increase in bear-human interactions, something that bear management experts work to avoid. Bear Management The Great Smoky Mountains National Park is home to about 1,600 black bears, the largest concentration of bears in the Southeast. The park also has an incredibly high concentration of humans: it’s the most visited national park in the country, receiving between 9 million and 10 million visitors each year. These colliding populations make bear management particularly challenging. 1 2 3 4 5 6
If you are looking for a musical road trip this weekend, look no farther than the wilds of West Virginia.Just outside of Masontown, on the former site of the vaunted All Good Music Festival, the Deep Roots Mountain Revival will be kicking off its second festival today and running through an impressive collection of artists, big and small, through Saturday.On the bill for this year’s festival are Brandi Carlisle, Dr. Dog, Lettuce, Sam Bush, Moon Taxi, Larry Keel, Town Mountain, and many, many more.The line up is deep and eclectic, but the fun doesn’t stop with the music. Included in the daily schedule are diversions like yoga, hoop building and dancing, meditation, and stuff for the kids to do, too.A longtime friend of mine, Micah Davidson, became part of the Deep Roots team this year. Davidson, who founded Midwood Entertainment in Charlotte in 2015, has been involved with booking bands and promoting festivals throughout the Southeast for years.I chatted with Micah this week about this year’s festival, exciting bands on the bill, and unusual green room requests.BRO – How did you get involved with this festival?MD – I had actually ever been to the site where we hold the festival, on Marvin’s Mountaintop outside of Masontown. Last year was the first festival, and I had friends involved, so they invited me up to have a small working role in the inaugural event. After seeing the site and spending time with the producer, Claude Ryan, I just knew it was something I had to do. We have a great relationship and work really well together. I really have to thank him for the opportunity, as it’s the biggest event I’ve been part of so far.BRO – I noticed there are some great bands from West Virginia on the bill. Was it important to give the home state some love as you went about booking?MD – I always feel that it’s important to support local bands. It helps the community get more involved in the event and gives you a great regional fanbase. Plus, you never know when one of those bands is going to become the next Sturgill Simpson or Dave Matthews. Those big bands had to start somewhere, and I think that, sometimes, the general public forgets that. And it’s fun to be able to say you had “that band” on your festival way back when.BRO – Band that you are particularly excited to have on the bill?MD – White Denim. I’ve told everyone on the team where they can find me when their set starts. I’ve been a big fan for years and they never disappoint. I’ve got them playing a couple of my festivals this year.BRO – Best part of your job this week?MD – As corny as it might sound, just getting to work with my friends. In this industry, I spend a lot of time traveling and meeting people who become like family to me. Getting to see them, hang with them, and share an experience like this is about as great a thing as you can get. If you aren’t enjoying the company of the people you work with, you should get a new job!BRO – You don’t have to name the band, but what’s the most unusual request you have ever gotten for the green room?MD – Well, it wasn’t for this festival, but the strangest green room request I have ever gotten was for ammunition. Yes. Ammunition. I read a band rider once and they requested ammunition. I laughed at first, and then I found out that they were serious. Needless to say, I didn’t provide it, but they did get a fantastic selection of beer, healthy snacks, and the like.If you find yourself free this weekend and have a festival itch that needs scratching, head to Marvin’s Mountaintop. Deep Roots Mountain Revival kicks off tomorrow in wild, wonderful West Virginia, and runs through Saturday.For more information on the festival, line up, and schedule, please check out the website.
“You realize how valuable he is as a player, in the clubhouse and on the field, and to get him back is going to be a huge lift,” Roberts said. “It sort of will allow guys to hit in their place in the order and just add length to our lineup.“We’ve been sporadic (offensively) and really haven’t hit. I think the intent has been good. But having JT – that professional at-bat, driving in a run, maybe hit a double, hit a homer, just to grind at-bats is only going to make us better.”Turner did hit a home run in his first at-bat Friday. But he didn’t view himself as riding in to save the offense after the recent downturn against the Cardinals, Brewers and Nationals.“It was three of the best starting pitching groups in the National League the last three series,” Turner said accurately. “You know you’re in for a grind. I thought we were taking tough at-bats against some pretty good pitchers. Our guys pitched pretty well too. They just caught a few more breaks than us and we lost a few of those games there that we really had a chance to win.”Roster moves LOS ANGELES >> Justin Turner returned from the disabled list on Friday, aware that there are some limits on what he can do.“Obviously, I have to be a little smarter than normal,” the Dodgers third baseman joked after missing 19 games with a hamstring injury. “Can’t go out and run the bases like Puig, like his hair’s on fire.”The Dodgers’ offense has hardly been on fire without Turner. In the eight games before his return Friday, they scored a total of 18 runs (10 in one game) and batted .166 as a team (including .113 with runners in scoring position). Dodgers manager Dave Roberts happily wrote Turner’s name in the lineup. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error With Turner’s return, outfielder Brett Eibner was optioned back to Triple-A Oklahoma City. Eibner has been throwing bullpen sessions in anticipation of potential dual duty as a pitcher, and Roberts said it is part of “the plan” with Eibner to get him into a game (or more) as a pitcher for the OKC Dodgers soon.“I don’t know when that will be,” Roberts said. “He’s had six, seven ’pens to date. It would be nice to get him an inning there before here. I don’t know when that will occur, but that is on the radar.”The Dodgers also activated left-hander Luis Avilan from the DL and put right-hander Sergio Romo on the list with a left ankle sprain. Avilan has been out with left triceps injury. Romo (who has a 6.41 ERA in 38 appearances) becomes the 22nd player placed on the DL by the Dodgers this season. They set a modern record last season when 28 players spent time on the DL.Pederson planOutfielder Joc Pederson started his rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City on Friday night – and hit the first pitch he saw for a home run. Pederson finished the night 1 for 3 and played five innings in center field.Before suffering a concussion and a neck injury in a collision with Yasiel Puig on May 23, Pederson was hitting .200 for the season – low even for the career .222 hitter. More disappointing, he has just two home runs and a .314 slugging percentage. The Dodgers hope Pederson will use this rehab assignment to rediscover his offensive game. As a result, Roberts said the length of the rehab is “open-ended.”“It’s two-fold,” Roberts said of the rehab assignment. “It’s about Joc’s health and how he feels taking at-bats, how his body feels playing defense and how he recovers. But also, it’s about performing. Yes, it’s a rehab assignment. But we still need Joc to be feeling good at the plate when he gets back.“To put a date on a return, I think, is unfair to Joc. It adds a little bit more pressure. Just to keep it open-ended allows for him, for us, that makes sense when he’s ready.”Roberts said he expects Pederson to spend at least a week with the OKC Dodgers and then be re-evaluated.Wood’s returnLeft-hander Alex Wood is scheduled to return from the DL and start against the Cincinnati Reds on Saturday. Wood has a streak of 25-1/3 scoreless innings but Dodgers starters have not fared well in their returns from the DL.Kenta Maeda, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brandon McCarthy and Rich Hill (twice) have all spent time on the DL this season. In the five games they started immediately after returning, they have a combined ERA of 6.75 with a 2.12 WHIP while averaging fewer than five innings. The Dodgers lost four of those five games.