Florida – The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission meets Wednesday and will consider four options for another black bear hunt. Those options include not holding a hunt at all this year. A decision on if and how to move forward is expected at this week’s meeting.
That comes after the Commission spent a lot of time getting input from the general public and stakeholders.
“The biologists and staff at FWC value all of the input we’ve received throughout the development of our comprehensive bear management program and we hope more Floridians will continue to provide input on the best way to manage Florida’s growing bear population. We look forward to continuing to have a transparent, accountable process where everyone has their voices heard on this critical topic,” said FWC Executive Director Nick Wiley. “We look forward to presenting this information to the commission at our June meeting, and we invite all those interested to provide feedback on options that we’ve prepared for the Commission’s consideration. Our focus will continue to be how to balance what’s best for Florida’s growing bear population with the safety of Florida families and our visitors.”
The options are as follows:
1) Have another bear hunt in 2016 with a framework identical to 2015’s bear hunt.
2) Hold a more conservative bear hunt in 2016 utilizing input received from both the public and stakeholders.
3) Postpone bear hunting in Florida until 2017.
4) Don’t allow bear hunts in Florida.
FWC biologists have recommended the second option.
Volusia County Council recently voted to acknowledge that it does not support a hunt. Tiger Bay State Forest is the only site in the county where the 2015 bear hunt went on here.
In order to foster continued public participation in their decision-making processes, the FWC has announced that residents can learn more about each option and provide input and feedback by going to MyFWC.com/bear.
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