Florida Reviewing Bear Management Plan

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In Florida, efforts are underway to review the state’s Comprehensive Black Bear Management Plan. When the original plan was unveiled in 2012, hunting played a crucial role in the overall strategy to manage the growing bear population. As the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) begins taking input on the new revisions for this plan, sportsmen and women are encouraged to advocate to keep hunting as part of the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Plan.

Take Action Today! Florida sportsmen are encouraged to attend both days that the commission is meeting and register with FWC staff to speak. Let the commission know that you support hunting as part of the Comprehensive Black Bear Management Plan. 

The meeting dates, location and time are as follows:

Dates: December 11 & 12, 2019

Times:  8:30 a.m.

Location: Edgewater Beach Resort – 11212 Front Beach Road, Panama City, Florida 32407

Members who can’t attend in person, should send their comments to the FWC at the following email address:  Commissioners@MyFWC.com 

The state of Florida removed protections for black bears in 2012 and their population continues to thrive with an estimated population of 4,050. The population has grown to the point that bear attacks and conflicts have become more common. As recently as September, a Florida woman was attacked by a bear while walking her dog. As the bear population continues to grow, more and more dangerous interactions will occur. 

Hunting has proven to be an effective and cost efficient way to control bear populations in other states to prevent unwanted interactions with people and pets. There is no reason to believe that hunting would not be a beneficial management tool in Florida. 

“As the bear population continues to grow, largely unchecked, it’s critical to provide the FWC with the necessary tools, including hunting, to protect people and pets,” said Bruce Tague, vice president government affairs for Sportsmen’s Alliance. “Hunters gladly play a key role in this strategy elsewhere, and would do so in Florida as well.”

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: OnlineFacebookTwitter and Instagram.