Update: In two weeks the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission has sold over 2,000 permits to kill bears. Permit buyers include the Vice-Chairman of the Commission and Kill-For-Thrills poster boy Ted Nugent. Click here to donate to the Legal Fund and help stop the Black Bear Bloodbath.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) is selling bear hunting permits like candy. In just two weeks FWC has sold nearly 2,000 permits -- and it's believed that the number of permits will soon vastly exceed the estimated bear population with sales lasting for two more months.1 FWC isn't even trying to hide its conflict of interest, as the Commission's Vice-Chairman, Aliese Priddy who voted for the hunt, purchased a permit for herself.
After dealing with FWC at three separate hearings, we're not surprised that a commissioner who voted for the hunt purchased a permit. Commissioners have show no regard for the safety and survival of this beautiful species. But what really scares me is that Ted Nugent recently purchased a permit -- and he's locked and loaded. You know Ted Nugent, the Kill-For-Thrills poster boy who referred to bears as a liability,2 and was fined $10,000 for illegally killing bears in Alaska.3
FWC's rules for the hunt are so arbitrary, trophy-seeking hunters like Nugent will have a blueprint to shoot first and ask questions later. FWC doesn't even know how many bears actually live in the state. That's why we have started the Black Bear Legal Fund, to stop this Black Bear Bloodbath. Can you chip in to help save the Florida Black Bear before it's too late?
FWC has done everything they can to kill the bears except pull the triggers themselves. And if bear hunters like Nugent kill more than the 375 bears FWC is planning to hunt, there's no plan for how to stop the slaughter once it's started. Get this, FWC says they plan to "keep in touch with hunters via text and email" to let hunters know when to stop. I don't hunt myself, but I'm pretty sure most hunters don't bring laptops into the wilderness with them. And even if they did, it's not like cell service is optimal in the Apalachee forest.
This lawsuit is basically the last chance to save these bears. We can't count on FWC since they're already ignoring the 1998 voter-approved amendment to create the commission as an independent body, "to conduct management, preservation and conservation decision-making based on sound science."4 They aren't following science, they're not even following basic arithmetic. That's why we are joining our friends at Speak Up Wekiva, Sierra Club and Center for Biological Diversity to mount a legal challenge against FWC that will stop this hunt dead in its tracks before it tracks a bunch of dead bears.
Ted Nugent is coming for the bears, the Vice Chairman of FWC is coming for the bears and 2,000 trophy seekers and counting are coming. The bears are literally surrounded and this lawsuit is all that stands in the way of potential Black Bear genocide. Please click here and help support the bears' day in court.
Thanks for all you do,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Bear Brigade
1. Hudak, Stephen. Florida Bear Hunters May Outnumber Florida Bears. Orlando Sentinel. August 9, 2015.
2. Associated Press. Rocker Ted Nugent Snaps Up Florida Bear Hunting Permit. ABC News. August 6, 2015.
3. Hudak, Stephen. Rocker Ted Nugent Is Loaded For Florida's Bear Hunt. Orlando Sentinel. August 5, 2015.
4. Turner, Jim. Lawsuit Seeks To Block Return Of Bear Hunting In Florida. Orlando Weekly. July 31, 2015.