Re-List The Florida Black Bear
Last year we fought together to protect the beautiful and iconic Florida Black Bear from being hunted. But the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) defeated us, and allowed the hunt to go forward, robbing Florida of 300 Black Bears. The FWC allowed the hunt to go forward despite statewide opposition of 75% of Floridians, and despite not completing a population assessment. The hunt was so bloody that it was called off after just two days, even though the season was scheduled to be one week long -- and two bear management units exceeded their allotted quota, possibly resulting in irreparable harm.
I in Florida for the hunt to act as a civilian monitor at two of the check-in stations. It turns out that even with an army of bear activists across the state, the rules we're still broken as multiple reports came in of hunters killing cubs and nursing mothers and, in some cases, even baiting bears. This tragedy was the inevitable result of a hunt that was not based on sound science, using loosely developed and administered rules. The Black Bear Blood Bath of 2015 proves that FWC cannot be trusted to ensure the safety and survival of the Florida Black Bear.
That's why, last week we joined our friends at Center for Biological Diversity, Speak Up Wekiva, League of Women Voters Florida and others to petition the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to put the Florida Black Bear back on the Endangered Species List. If we get the bear re-listed, it would immediately prevent FWC from having a hunt this year as they've indicated they're planning to do. But we need to get as many people supporting this effort to get USFWS' attention and President Obama's.
Sign here to add your name the growing list of Black Bear activists calling for Federal protection.