FWC Considers Black Bear Plan

June 20, 2012

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission will focus on conservation of the Florida black bear, the state’s largest land mammal, this week. They will consider taking final action on adopting the FWC’s first management plan for the black bear, which has rebounded from as few as 300 in the wild in the 1970’s to more than 3,000 today.

The goal of the 10-year plan is to “maintain sustainable black bear populations in suitable habitats throughout Florida for the benefit of the species and people.” Public input was invited and utilized in drafting the bear management plan and will be important to its implementation.

The seven bear management units created in the plan provide opportunities for public participation in decisions on managing local bear populations and reducing human-bear conflicts such as the one that occurred recently at a Cantonment apartment complex.

The Commissioners also will decide on removing the black bear from the state’s list of threatened species and adopting a new FWC rule making it illegal to harass, injure or kill a bear in Florida.

Pictured: A black bear wondered through a Cantonment apartment complex for days last month until it was captured and euthanized by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. NorthEscambia.com file photos, click to enlarge.


10 Responses to “FWC Considers Black Bear Plan”

  1. Kit Parker on June 23rd, 2012 10:54 am

    Why aren’t we (the FWC, our wildlife agency) utilizing HAZING experts, or training some, for bear neighborhoods? Why wasn’t all the money collected over the years to restore bear population used to subsidize more bear-proof containers? We supported restoration project, which we didn’t do to end up with recreational sport killing of them now!

    Our trash, our job to secure it. Period! Now go enforce it, FWC! use the fine $ for more containers. Stop letting the lazy present management and media do your dirty work of promoting tag sales from hunters.

    Why do people who live in such wildlife habitat live in fear of wildlife? Are they allowed to breed and extend their IQ into our society? I think I’d prefer the bears, thank you.

    Did someone actually equate a BLACK bear to wolves? Good grief.

  2. Local on June 21st, 2012 12:50 am

    They should take them to eglin, just like they should of done with that one. There is plenty of bears out there and on the way in to holly there is even a bear crossing or watch for bear sign, Its normal for bears to come into people yards there, because they smell the trash, I know quite a few people who always see them in their yards, an their dogs end up scaring them off. The only bad thing I heard of the bears there were them “terrozing” a neighbor hood close ot my house, but it still wasnt bad just gettin into garbage but it was more than one, It alot more humanee (:

  3. Rocky on June 20th, 2012 11:28 pm

    1.) This animal was euthanized because he has exhibited no fear of man. For that reason, the Smoky Mountain National Park would not have taken it.

    2.) The black bear management plan is a result of bunny hugger efforts to have the Florida Black Bear listed as an endangered/threatened species. Once listed there is by law, a set agenda the Game & Fish Department must follow in order to re-establish a season.

    3.) I don’t agree with much of current management of the Florida Black Bear, because I know they are an elusive creature, and it is very difficult to establish their numbers given their habitat.

    4.) The 3000 or so number Game & Fish and the media keeps throwing out there is a falacy. Those numbers are based on a study done 12 years ago!! They cannot and will not make me, or anyone else who lives in a woodlands environment in the state of Florida, believe that the population has not increased substantially more than they are suggesting, in the last 12 years. Those of us who live in Bear country, are well aware of what’s out there.

    5.) As for bear proof trash cans… they run around $450 apiece! Game & Fish did try them in one Florida community. Ultimately what they found was, the bear moved deeper into the community until they found trash cans that weren’t bear proof.

    6.) Bears are not cute cuddly loveable creatures. If you truly think they are all warm and cuddly, then you need to go to your nearest zoo, crawl into the bear pen with them, and figure out what they are all about!! While you’re at it, take a bunny hugger or two with you! Bears like desert too!!

  4. Lawson on June 20th, 2012 1:11 pm

    Why do we need more black bears? Seems there are too many now and they wander into residential areas. What’s going to happen when the black bear population goes up? I suppose that after the uproar of having to dispose of the other one, FWC decided the public wants more black bears. My advice? Just let it alone. It will be fine.

  5. Janice on June 20th, 2012 12:37 pm

    The bigger the population and the more forest that we destroy to build homes, we are going to see more wildlife. This is there home that is being destroyed and they have no where to go. This bear that was killed was just looking for food. If the people that is suppose to be able to handle wildlife can’t seem to do it, there are plenty of other people who can. It appears to me that they were scared of the bear. There is no reason why they could not have put there pride behind them and call on someone who could handle the situation.

  6. Trish on June 20th, 2012 11:25 am

    A LITTLE TO LATE if you ask me. The question is what have they been doing to all of the bears that show up in populated areas? I would really like an honest answer to that; unfortunately I have a feeling that there will be no honest answer only an evaesive one which will make me even more infuriated. Last week at a meeting I went to a lady who lives in the Tiger Point area said she was having a problem with a bear breaking into her garbage, she then said something about trapping it and the FWC. At that point I tooned it out because I figured 1) another bear incident the public is not aware of and 2) they will kill it and hope that no one finds out. and 3) I will so mad at that point I would explode if I called their office to inquire about it. My opinion of the FWC right now is extremely low to say the least.

  7. Cindy on June 20th, 2012 9:32 am

    What I don’t understand is why the bear was not relocated to a zoo instead of being killed. I don’t like even that but at least then the bear could have lived. The zoo in Gulf Shores would have taken him.But for the FWC to kill this animal was wrong and they should have already had a plan in place. If someone else who was not FWC had of harmed this bear it would probaly been a totally diffrent outcome like fines, court, jail. Hopefully in future this can all be avoided . Heck take the bear to the Park service in Great Smokey Mnts they would have released it into the mountains to live with other bears.

  8. K in Cantonment on June 20th, 2012 9:31 am

    Well let’s see The FWC will focus on conservation of the Florida Black Bear, I don’t know about anyone else but I feel this is like “CLOSING THE BARN DOOR AFTER THE COW (BEAR) IS GONE. That’s all I have to say about this.

  9. Tina on June 20th, 2012 8:12 am

    So sad, why kill him. Why was he not relocated. Sounds like politicsw won out again.You are not heros to me. He did not deserve to die.

  10. Mnon on June 20th, 2012 6:50 am

    How about illegal to feed as well, if they come into residential areas. That way a bear won’t keep coming back to the populated area expecting more hand outs. Also if people live in a known black bear populated area it is required to keep trash/food trash in a bear proof container.

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