Breaking: In a 4-3 decision yesterday, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission voted AGAINST another Black Bear hunt. It's an amazing victory for our coalition of Bear Activists. But the FWC minced no words about their desire for a 2017 hunt. Click here to help Floridians continue to ban bear hunts at the local level as we strive for a permanent statewide ban.
I think you'll agree with me that when it comes to save our wild animal neighbors, victories come too far and few between. Last year the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) voted 6-1 to go ahead with a bloody and unnecessary hunt that killed over 300 Black Bears in a single weekend. The rules for the hunt were ambiguous and ill-administered, which is why there were reports of cubs hunted as well as lactating mothers. It was such a massacre, that FWC Director Nick called off the hunt after only two days.
What a difference a year makes. Yesterday, the FWC voted 4-3 to hold any plans for a 2016 Black Bear hunting season, giving us and the bears a much needed victory. Despite claims by FWC 'experts' that the bears have made a remarkable comeback, independent scientists and public calls for more research helped halt a 2016 hunt.1 But even as FWC Commissioners explaining their decision to halt this year's hunt, they hinted that a hunt next year is imminent. FWC Chairman Brian Yablonski even couched his opposition to a 2016 hunt as a way to make a stronger case for a 2017 hunt saying, "I don't think it means hunting goes away."2
That's why even as we savor this victory, we can't lose sight of the long road ahead. We must continue our work for a statewide ban on Black Bear hunting. That's why Florida Bear activists have been traveling county to county and city to city to secure local hunting bans -- and they've been successful! As of yesterday, five Florida counties and six cities representing 6.4 million Floridians have adopted resolutions or proclamations banning Black Bear hunting.
Please click here to donate $25 or more to help continue this work ahead of 2017.
Sun-Tzu said, "The art of war teaches us to rely not on the likelihood of the enemy's not coming, but on our own readiness to receive him; not on the chance of his not attacking, but rather on the fact that we have made our position unassailable." That's why we have to prepare for an imminent hunt next year by passing as many local hunting bans as possible, to make a statewide ban unassailable.
Floridians are realizing more and more that local activism is the best way to protect our air, land, water and wildlife. Just like we're fighting to ban fracking at the local, county and state level, we can't wait for the FWC to see the light. We have to travel to as many municipalities as possible to secure an organic victory. With your help, by the time FWC tries anything next year, a de-facto hunting ban will already be in place. Please help savor this recent triumph by clicking here and giving $25, $50, $100 or whatever you can to make this victory permanent.
Thanks for standing with the Bears,
Anthony and the Environmental Action Black Bear Brigade
1. Pittman, Craig. Good News Bears! No Hunting For You in Florida This Year! Miami Herald. June 22, 2016.
2. Turner, Jim. No Bear Hunt in 2016. Fox35 News. June 22, 2016.