The FWC denied our appeals to slow down or stop the hunting of Florida's black bears -- despite the fact that hunters could outnumber bears five-to-one and there's no plan for how to stop the bloodbath once it starts. Donate now to support our Save-the-bears lawsuit. It could be our last chance to protect these bears before hunting season opens this fall.
Yesterday in Fort Lauderdale, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) proved what we have long suspected: It's a runaway agency with no regard for public input, public opinion and little regard for the wildlife it's name implies it is pledged to conserve.
During yesterday’s hearing the ratio of those who oppose the hunt to those who support it was at least five to one. Which is ironic, considering the fact that nearly 1,800 hunting permits have been sold to kill 320 bears, also a 5:1 ratio.
It’s bad enough FWC voted to approve the hunt in the first place, but the rules associated with it are largely ambiguous, ill-advised and not based on sound science. This was my message to the commissioners, which you can see below or by clicking here. Prior to my statement, a newly appointed FWC chairman explained that he decries federal intervention and lawsuits that distract FWC from “protecting and preserving the breathtaking and unique environment Florida has to offer.”
He was no doubt referring to the lawsuit that members like you have helped support – and I reminded him that when states are unable to address major issues they invite federal intervention and lawsuits. Click here to donate in support of our black bear legal fund.
Or click here to see my full report on the hearing, including video of my testimony on your behalf.
The most ironic moment of the hearing came when FWC Biologist Dr. Eason presented a report on how to reduce bear/human incidents by using bear proof trash containers. In one area of the state, which previously had one of the highest rates of bear complaints, incidents dropped by 95 percent once the containers were distributed. FWC vindicated what we have been saying all along: Non-Lethal Approaches Are The Best Way to Protect Bears and Humans Alike.
Despite all the evidence and public testimony, in the we lost a vote to make modest improvements to the bear hunt by a vote of three to two. But I still left yesterday’s hearing with hope, because people across the state are stepping up, speaking out and digging deep to get justice for Florida’s Black Bear. It’s going to be a long, drawn out process – but with your continued support we can and will keep the bears alive.
Click here to see my full report and testimony.
Click here to support the Florida Black Bear lawsuit and stay tuned for more updates as this is only the beginning.
Anthony for Team Florida Bear