Since we started our Florida Black Bear Justice tour, 11 cities and four counties representing over 3.5 million residents have introduced or passed bans on Black Bear hunting. Click here to donate $15 or more and keep the victories coming as we get ever-closer to a statewide bear hunting ban.
We're getting the word out and the results couldn't be more encouraging. It's been two months since I decided to extend my stay in Florida and fight town by town, county by county to prevent another black bear hunting season. Since then, we have secured hunting bans in 11 cities across the State of Florida representing over 3.5 million people. That's nearly 20 percent of the entire state's population.
But we can't afford to let up and get complacent: The Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) is still considering a 2016 Black Bear hunting season. They are relying on a scientifically questionable report, only five pages long, indicating that the bear population has increased to justify it. But that report was completed before last year's hunt and includes sketchy methodologies (jelly donuts and barbed wire) that are being scrutinized by biologists nationwide.
This week we are taking the fight to Eustis City, in Lake County, where we anticipate another victory. I need your help to keep fueling the Black Bear Justice tour so we can get as many Bear Activists to the City hearing as possible. As the great organizer Saul Alinsky once said, "Notch one victory, keep working, notch two victories, keep working, notch three victories, work even harder." I hope I can count on you to help us work even harder to get a statewide ban on Black Bear hunting and save this stellar species from extinction.
Click here to fund the quest for Florida Black Bear Justice and let's do all we can to Stunt the Hunt in 2016 and save the bears for generations to come.
Thanks for standing with the Bears,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Bear Brigade
PS You can see my original email on the Florida Black Bear Justice Tour below.
Last year, we fought to convince Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) to #StuntTheHunt and save the Florida Black Bear. They didn't listen, and the result was a Black Bear Bloodbath that killed nearly 300 bears (that we know about) in less than two days.1 Worse yet, the FWC announced plans to make the hunt an annual event.
I was interviewed by NPR at a monitoring station during last year's hunt. While there, I saw the carnage first hand and made a bold promise to the interviewer: None of these bears died in vein because we will continue the fight to save these beautiful animals from extinction.2 I'm pleased to say that we made some progress earlier this week in Seminole County.
In an unprecedented decision, and after just one hour of testimony from our team, the Seminole County Commission unanimously agreed to draft an ordinance that will ban Black Bear hunting in their county. Following our victory I told the coalition of Bear Activists that I would extend my stay in Florida and help them get more counties to ban the bear hunt. But Florida is a big state, and I'm going to need your help to get to all these counties. Can I count on you to donate $10 or more to help me and my Bear banning team travel the state on a quest for Florida Black Bear Justice
The Seminole County Commissioners listened attentively to a range of activists, including an eight year old girl who took the day off from school just to make the case for a ban on bear hunting. We all explained that despite opposition from 75 percent of Floridians the FWC moved ahead with the hunt unilaterally.3 I warned that if counties like Seminole did not stand up to a runaway commission like FWC, Florida could be inviting federal intervention to keep the Florida Black Bear from being pushed back to the brink of extinction.4
Outside, basking in the glow of our victory, we were all amazed that we actually pulled it off! Then I came up with an idea — since we know that we can’t depend on the FWC to follow sound science or the will of Florida voters, what if we did this again and again in other counties to get as many hunting bans as possible?
That’s when I proclaimed to the coalition that I would extend my stay in Florida to start this process. It was a great day and with your help we can get even more justice for Florida’s Black Bear and keep this beautiful species around for years to come. Stay tuned for updates on my Florida travels coming soon, and thanks for standing with the bears. Click here to fund the quest for Florida Black Bear Justice and let's do all we can to Stunt the Hunt in 2016 and save the bears for generations to come.
Thanks for your bear care,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Black Bear Brigade
1. Shiffman, David. 298 Bears Killed in Florida Hunt That Ignored Science. The Washington Post. October 29, 2015.
2. Forhecz, Topher and Meszaros. Jessica. Advocate, Hunter Share Stories from Florida Bear Hunt. WGCU/NPRNews. October 26, 2015
3. MacFall Kate and Place, Jennifer. Florida Doesn't Need Bear Hunting. The Ledger.com. June 6, 2015.
4. Anthony Rogers-Wright: Seminole County Commission Testimony, March 8, 2016.