County approves pro-black bear resolution

County approves pro-black bear resolution

by DeVore Design, August 19, 2016

Lake County commissioners on Tuesday passed a resolution supporting the postponement of the controversial black bear hunt in Florida.

The resolution supports efforts to “reduce human-bear interactions.”

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission sanctioned a bear hunt in October 2015 to thin a bear population that state biologists say was growing too quickly, resulting in a number of tense interactions between bears and people.

Two months ago, amid controversy, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission postponed future bear hunts.

“FWC admitted they made a mistake,” said Hope Lamb, a resident. “I will tell you thousands of people support the bears. They may not stand up here. They might be afraid of vendettas from people. I promise you that history is on the side of the Florida black bear.”

Lamb said 304 bears were killed in the hunt.

Commissioner Leslie Campione said it is important that the county follow through with its plans to get as many bear-proof trash cans in the hands of area residents as possible to reduce the frequency of bears wandering into neighborhoods looking for food.

“Trash cans that are accessible to bears is a problem and is no different than sticking food out there and asking them to come and eat that food,” Campione said. “That will lead to a conflict and that bear being put down.”