TAKE ACTION! Florida sportsmen should contact their state senator and ask them to vote NO on Senate Bill 1304. Florida’s wildlife experts should be in charge of bear management, not politicians. Members can use the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center to contact their state senator.
Florida legislation that would place a 10-year ban on black bear hunting in the Sunshine State has been scheduled a hearing in the Senate Environmental Preservation and Conservation Committee. Senate Bill 1304 is scheduled to have its hearing on April 19 at 1:30 in room 37 of the Senate Office Building.
In addition to banning bear hunting for the next decade, Senate Bill 1304 also requires bear-proof garbage cans, and restricts burning in habitats that could impact bears. The bill also would commission a study to be conducted on the effectiveness of non-lethal means for the management of bears.
In 2016, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission paused plans to have a second hunting season for bears after anti-hunting groups pressured both commissioners and legislators. SB 1304 would set a dangerous precedent by removing the management authority from the wildlife experts at the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The Commission was created to make scientific decisions regarding wildlife, and Senate Bill 1304 undermines that process and politicizes wildlife decision making.
Taxpayers would also be on the hook for $1 million to fund bear-proof trash cans. SB 1304 also mandates that there shall not be any timbering of palmetto or acorn trees on state forests. The sponsor claims that bears will avoid garbage if there are more natural food sources available.
About the Sportsmen’s Alliance: The Sportsmen’s Alliance protects and defends America’s wildlife conservation programs and the pursuits – hunting, fishing and trapping – that generate the money to pay for them. Sportsmen’s Alliance Foundation is responsible for public education, legal defense and research. Its mission is accomplished through several distinct programs coordinated to provide the most complete defense capability possible. Stay connected to Sportsmen’s Alliance: Online, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.