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DNR's revocation of bear researcher's permit stands

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Rogers feeds June by hand
Wildlife Research Institute biologist Lynn Rogers hand feeds June, a 300-plus-pound pregnant black bear, in August 2012 in the woods near Ely, Minn.
Derek Montgomery for MPR

A Department of Natural Resources decision to revoke researcher Lynn Rogers' license to put radio collars on bears and put cameras in their dens will stand — even after Rogers met personally today with Gov. Mark Dayton to appeal the decision.

Rogers, who's been at odds with the state for years over his practice of hand feeding bears, said he'll keep pushing to reverse the decision requiring him to take collars off the bears by July 31.

"I'm 74," Rogers said. "I don't want to be distracted by anything that takes me off from focusing on the research and publishing. That's my total goal."

The DNR says Rogers' methods have caused bears to become unafraid of humans, making them a threat to public safety. The agency also questions the validity of Rogers' research after 14 years of collecting data and says he still has not published his research.

Rogers' technique of hand feeding bears makes them "unafraid of people, in which case they're more likely to cause problems," DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr said. Some northern Minnesota landowners report collared bears are approaching people looking for food, he added.

Rogers says his research methods don't pose harm to humans or bears. He can appeal the decision to an administrative law judge.

Click on the audio player above to hear MPR's Tom Crann speak with Rogers about the order.