Federal Protection Sought For Black Bears

March 19, 2016


Conservation and animal-protection groups want a federal endangered-species protection designation for Florida black bears before another hunt may be held in the state. T

he Center for Biological Diversity and the Animal Legal Defense Fund, along with more than a dozen groups, filed a petition Thursday with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that seeks to place the black bear under the federal Endangered Species Act. Jaclyn Lopez, Florida director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said the proposal is intended to “make sure the bear has a place in Florida’s future.”

The groups note the bear population has been able to grow from between 300 to 500 in the 1970s to around 3,500 due in part to being listed as threatened by the state.

However, that designation was lifted in 2012 when a new management plan was approved.

In October, the state held what resulted in a two-day hunt in four parts of the state, with 304 bears killed — 16 short of the so-called “harvest objective.”

The Center for Biological Diversity estimates at least 590 bears were killed in Florida last year, when factoring in the hunt, habitat loss and road kill. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission hasn’t made any decision about a future hunt. Florida lawmakers included $500,000 to reduce human-bear conflicts in the state’s new $82 billion budget, which Gov. Rick Scott signed late Thursday

The money is to match local dollars in purchasing bear-resistant garbage containers. The budget specifies that at least 60 percent of the money has to go to local governments that have “an ordinance in place focused on resolving issues associated with bear attractants and garbage.”

by The News Service of Florida

NorthEscambia.com file photo.

Comments

4 Responses to “Federal Protection Sought For Black Bears”

  1. dm on March 22nd, 2016 11:57 am

    I’m waiting for all the bear lovers to tell me where I am WRONG !!!

  2. dm on March 21st, 2016 6:40 am

    Federal Endangered Species –

    At around 3500 bears they were enough of a problem to have a 2 day hunt –
    Under this kind of protection with no control over the population –

    How much of a problem will they be when the population doubles/triples –
    $500,000 now, how much then ???

    They are spilling over into neighborhoods now — double the numbers –
    where will they go ???

    Have to lock your garbage can, no bird feeders, new regulations/taxes to protect the bears — where does it end ???

    Now that’s SMART !!!

  3. Sage 2 on March 20th, 2016 5:44 pm

    When the Federal Government becomes involved…watch out! If you should have to protect your child, animals or self from a bear attack and kill the bear…hello wall…jail house walls, that is!

  4. Kevin Vickrey on March 19th, 2016 10:16 pm

    Everybody will feel good about themselves for saving the bears until someone’s kid gets snatched out of a backyard and ate! Bears can be a nuisance. So lets make it impossible to be able to take some out when they get overpopulated.





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