You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to myPalmBeachPost.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and bonus content- exclusively for subscribers. Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks

X

Welcome to myPalmBeachPost.com

This subscriber-only site gives you exclusive access to breaking news, in-depth coverage, exclusive interactives and bonus content.

You can read free articles of your choice a month that are only available on myPalmBeachPost.com.

POINT OF VIEW Another Florida black bear hunt makes no sense


Florida’s black bears are once again under threat of trophy hunters invading their forest homes and shooting them for no reason.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) may revisit the issue of a Florida statewide hunt on black bears, and it is time for citizens to let them know we want our bears protected — not shot for a trophy.

The issue could come up for discussion fairly soon, possibly at the FWC’s meeting in Tallahassee on Wednesday and Thursday. Floridians should urge the Wildlife Commission to listen to the majority of us who want Florida black bears treated humanely and conserved for future generations.

Florida’s bears are a unique subspecies of the American black bear and were only removed from the state’s threatened list in 2012. Florida’s bears are slow to reproduce, and females spend up to 18 months raising their cubs. If a mother is killed by a trophy hunter, her cubs could die from starvation, dehydration, predation or exposure.

Last year, a group of knowledgeable Florida scientists sent a detailed letter to the Wildlife Commission, warning that allowing the hunt to continue as it did in 2015, coupled with roadkill numbers, nuisance bears killed, and poaching, “may well plunge multiple subpopulations into sharp decline.”

No one in modern times needs to hunt bears for food or clothing. They are hunting for thrills, and Floridians don’t support this. Of more than 40,000 comments sent to the FWC before the 2015 hunt, 75 percent opposed it. A 2015 statewide Remington Research poll found that nearly two-thirds of Floridians oppose bear hunting. The poll showed that Floridians overwhelmingly favor educational outreach (84 percent) and bear-proof garbage cans (81 percent.) Eighty-seven percent agreed that neighborhoods near areas where bears roam have a responsibility to avoid attracting bears by securing their garbage and other foods.

County commissions in Hillsborough, Miami-Dade, Pinellas, Seminole and Volusia, and city commissions in Davie, St. Petersburg, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Pinecrest, Cutler Bay, Deltona, Clermont, South Miami, Biscayne Park, Eustis, Safety Harbor and Palmetto Bay all passed resolutions opposing a Florida bear hunt.

Our state wildlife officials publicly acknowledge what the scientific research shows — that bear hunting does not reduce bear-human conflicts, because the bears hunters kill in deep woods are not the “problem” bears found rooting in unsecured suburban garbage cans. The FWC has authority to deal with those kinds of bears without holding a hunt.

KATE MACFALL, TALLAHASSEE

Editor’s note: Kate MacFall is the Florida state director for The Humane Society of the United States.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Opinion

POINT OF VIEW: Preserving our South Florida soils, uplands, wetlands

Currently, Southeast Florida continues to destroy many of its remaining open areas for development. These areas hold native plants, soils and habitat for migratory birds. We continue to focus on growth rather than quality of life. A large amount of the water in our area is ground water. In order to have clean ground water we need to have open areas...
CARTOON
CARTOON

CARTOON VIEW KEVIN SIERS
Rep. Mast wrong on health care

Rep. Mast wrong on health care I attended U.S. Rep. Brian Mast’s last town hall meeting in Loxahatchee. When asked if he supported Social Security and Medicaid, he said, “I back them 100 percent.” When asked why he did not support the Affordable Care Act, he said: “People should not be forced to pay for something they do not...
LETTERS
LETTERS

Probation for teacher who kissed boy a disgrace I read your paper faithfully each day of the week. I am beyond appalled at the Post article, “Boca teacher gets a year’s probation for kissing 10-year-old student” (Tuesday) regarding the Boca teacher who was caught on camera kissing a 10-year-old boy in an empty classroom. His punishment...
Opinion: Political operator Stone sets stage for Anger Games

“Hate is a more powerful motivator than love.” According to the new Netflix documentary “Get Me Roger Stone,” that is one of the “rules” the self-described Republican “agent provocateur” has lived by. Stone, of course, is a showman. The “evil political operator” pose is to some degree an artifice...
More Stories