"I understand your sentiment but it's based in the false idea that humans are completely alien to the natural world. "
Totally not true, and a great example of stereotyping someone you don't know a thing about. In fact I would have no problem having a mass kill off if it was deemed necessary for a good reason. I'd pull the triggers myself. And please don't presume to patronize me about the history of man's relationship to the environment. You are not talking to a child.
What I have a problem with is killing a bear for the sake of a bunch of fat-ass campers of the type that are careless with their food and like to congregate in large noisy clusters (how is that for stereotyping) that make for an easy target for such bears - killing it as a mere *convenience* for people who believe that their interests, however trivial, always trump everything else. A very few places are left where the campers ARE supposed to be visitors and it is not their prerogative to have their way in everything. A VERY few. Our National Parks are supposed to be such isolated places. Yosemite Valley has been turned into Disneyland, do we have to extend the hand-holding through the whole park.
Yes, I have a kind of grumpy Ed Abbey/Jack Turner-esque attitude about such issues, I admit, but I feel that when humans create a problem they should own it first, before they resort to solving it on a more self-centered basis. When I hear such suggestions being offered blithely I am sometimes filled with same kind of rage Jack Tuner wrote about experiencing at seeing someone in a zoo throwing food at the face of a mountain lion. If you don't know the story, he grabbed the young man by the throat and for a few seconds wanted to kill him. This comes not from some kind of touchy-feelly tree-hugging place, but from somewhere deeper and more primal. If you can't understand that, then you are doomed to forever reducing the deeper idea of wilderness into "just another tree-hugging ideal" that can be easily dismissed. Or most ridiculously, claim it is based on "the idea that humans are completely alien to the natural world". That is not even remotely what it is about. The deeper idea is in fact *centered* on preserving something important about *man's* relationship with the environment (and *for* man, not just bears) that has a far older provenance than what you are talking about.
The logical foundation of the default "kill the bear" solution, while not a big deal in this situation, is in fact writ-large the reason we have been so devastating to the environment over the past several centuries. I say fix the people and/or campsite first then if that doesn't work move or kill the bear - but not "hey that bear stole my sandwich .. kill it!". Now if the campers who lost the food had to hunt and kill the bear themselves, using pointy sticks and/or flint-headed arrows (yes, just like that had to do before snicker's bars and peanut butter in bear cans) I'd be all for it - in fact I'd pay to see it.
There are big questions in my mind that are pertinent here. A bear can not pick up a bear can (say that 10 times fast) - this is one of the design principles. Still less a black bear. Ergo it would have had to swat it like a big furry Maradona all the way to a fairly high cliff for the score. It would then have to be able to easily get to the cracked can. I think the conditions for such behavior to be successful should be *very* limited - I want to say impossible since I don't believe a properly closed Garcia can would crack easily in such cases. Of course the idea of a bear "throwing" a can is totally preposterous. Therefore put in bear boxes in that spot - end of problem. Or did the affected campers, as suggested above, just leave the lid attached incorrectly. Seems like there may have been too many episodes for that to be the case - or did the first can have a lose lid and the rest were just attempt by the bear to reproduce the success. I find it hard to belive all of them would have neatly cracked. I think there is some missing information here somewhere.
On the bummer side of things I think the Berikade might crack easier under such conditions, and possibly the bear vault about the same. Unless the bear was so choosy that it only went for Garcia cans - but how long could that last. Its all definitely an big issue - I don't want to minimize it - since the current whole foundation of having a lot of people camping in Yosemite is the zero-tolerance rule on access to human food.