Florida Sen. Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) has introduced Senate Resolution 988, which calls upon the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission to place black bears on the state’s endangered species list. SR 988 is currently in the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee where it awaits a hearing.
Take Action Today! Florida sportsmen should contact their state senator and ask them to vote NO on SR 988. Members can use the Sportsmen’s Alliance Legislative Action Center to contact their state senator.
Black bears in Florida are nowhere near endangered status. In fact, human-bear conflicts continue to rise and the population is healthy enough that biologists support a bear hunting season. Only the political and emotional outcry of anti-hunting and animal-rights advocates has stood in the way.
In 2016, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission halted plans for a bear-hunting season after anti-hunting groups pressured the commissioners and state legislators. According to the commission, there are an estimated 4,050 black bears in the state of Florida.
“The numbers do not lie. The Florida black bear population is at a point where proper management needs to be permitted to protect public safety,” said Luke Houghton associate director of state services. “Falsely classifying a healthy and abundant black bear population as threatened is just another example of how these folks will use an endangered species act as a means to prevent hunting.”
Sen. Stewart has attempted multiple times over the years to prevent a bear season from taking place. As a result of opposition to a hunting season by anti-hunters and legislators like Sen. Stewart, the bear population continues to rise unchecked, leading to an increase in unwanted and dangerous human-bear interactions.
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.