Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sierra Club Demands FWC Director Immediately End Bear Hunt

October 24, 2015

Mr. Nick Wiley
Executive Director
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
620 South Meridian St
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1600

Dear Mr. Wiley,

Sierra Club urges you to exercise immediately your legal authority to end the hunt in all bear management units where the Florida black bear is being hunted.

FWC's bear hunt information update posted on myfwc.com this evening reports that 207 bears were killed in today's hunt.  Note that Speak Up Wekiva reports that the updated total is 224 bears reported killed today.  It isn't difficult to imagine that the final number killed might be significantly higher than either figure due to mortality not reported.

The FWC update adds that you have stopped the hunt in the Eastern Panhandle and Central Bear Management Units where the kill exceeded FWC's goals -- including a horrifying 81 (double FWC's goal of 40) in the Eastern Panhandle Bear Management Unit.  But it also says you are allowing the hunt to continue in the North and South Bear Management Units.  

Mayhem followed by long-term disaster are the predictable results of not stopping the hunt for the entire state.  Tomorrow, hunters will seek to make their kills in the North and South Bear Management Units, and they will redouble their efforts realizing that it will likely be the last day of the hunt.  Far more bears will be "harvested" by the end of the weekend than FWC's goal of 320 for the year, gravely reversing the recovery of the Florida black bear.  

Your only responsible option is to immediately call off the hunt for the whole state, including the North and South Bear Management Units.

Sincerely,

Frank Jackalone
Florida Staff Director


Debbie Matthews
Florida Chapter Chair

Sierra Club Florida
1990 Central Avenue
St. Petersburg, FL 33712