ANTI-HUNTERS CONTINUE FIGHTING REASONABLE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT BY SUING OVER FLORIDA BEAR HUNT DECISION
This past Friday, multiple individuals filed a lawsuit in Florida to halt the implementation of a state bear hunt in October. In late June, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission voted to reopen a limited, 7-day season in order to control a bear population that has become a danger to Floridians, who have witnessed an increase in maulings and car accidents caused by bears in the last several years.
Florida had been the only state with a bear population over 600 that did not have some sort of hunting season for them. The increased danger and problems associated with their presence prompted Florida governor Rick Scott to task the commission with the vote. The FWC has continually and successfully managed fish and wildlife resources for the long-term well-being of their populations and for the benefit of the people of Florida.
Nevertheless, a group named Speak Up Wekiva, along with environmental activist Chuck O'Neal, have alleged that the FWC "violated its constitutionally mandated mission to preserve and protect wildlife when commissioners voted in June to authorize the state's first bear hunt in more than two decades."
They go on to claim that the commission has an agenda that doesn't align with preserving state wildlife - this despite mountains of evidence and expert testimony to the contrary.
With estimates as high as 3-6,000 bears and over 4,000 bear-related calls to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in 2010, the need for change was evident.
FWC Director Nick Wiley says that the hunt will not be the sole solution to ending bear-human conflicts, but it will be a tool in achieving a stop to the massive growth in bear population that has caused an upswing nuisance complaints and more severe interactions.
As animal rights activists have shown in the past, their actions to fight reasonable scientific wildlife management show a misunderstanding of true conservationist efforts. A basic grasp of patterns and threats from overpopulation allows one to realize that this hunt is not meant to be malicious or sociopathic. It is a logical solution that is best for Florida's citizens, environment, and the long-term sustainability of the bear population.