Californians: Black Bears Need Your Help Today and on April 8th.
The California Dept. of Fish & Game (CDF&G) has submitted proposals to the Governor’s appointed Game Commission that allow more bears to be harassed, left to suffer for longer periods, and killed. While the CDF&G repeats in their proposed regulatory changes that their interest is to “maintain the State’s black bear population in a healthy and viable condition for the enjoyment and use of all Californians,” it is clear the state is catering to one interest group alone, and that is sports hunters. Please read below for more background information.
What You Can Do TODAY Or No Later Than Tomorrow – Friday, March 13, before 5:00 pm, PST:
1) Contact the California Fish & Game Commission. Urge the Commission to REJECT THE FISH & GAME PROPOSALS INVOLVING BLACK BEARS based on the background information below:
- cc your email to the Commission to the CA Dept. of Fish & Game:
Dr. Eric Loft
Chief, Department of Fish and Game
2) Please also attend the upcoming Fish & Game Commission meeting where the CDF&G proposals to kill more bears will be discussed.
When: Thursday, April 8th at 8:30 a.m.
Where: Beach Resort Monterey, 2600 Sand Dunes Dr., Monterey, Calif.
In 2009, the Commission allowed 1,700 black bears to be legally killed. When 1,700 bears are reported killed, the season closes. Or if the end of season arrives and 1,700 bears haven’t been killed, the season closes anyway. The CDF&G complains that it costs too much to notify hunters of an early closure and is pushing to allow an unlimited number of black bears to be killed up until the end of the season instead. While IDA does not support the lethal removal of black bears whatsoever, CDF&G proposing to kill more bears to save money instead of updating their notification system is simply a stone-age mentality.
The CDF&G has also proposed to allow the use of GPS equipment and tree switches (they notify the hunter when and where a bear has taken refuge in a tree). They state that use of these would allow for the increased care and monitoring of dogs. This is completely absurd because if a bear was in a tree, the dogs would be safely below. In actuality, the use of GPS equipment and tree switches would assure that more bears would be killed because so long as dogs were equipped with these tracking devices and trailing bears, bears wouldn’t have a chance to ever get away.
CDF&G also wants to expand training grounds where dogs can practice on live bears. While the bears aren’t supposed to be shot by hunters during these exercises, they would still be placed under considerable stress by either running to get away or fighting a pack of dogs who don’t adhere to all the commands yet. Opening up greater area for dogs to train translates into more space for dogs to harass and molest black bear cubs and other non-target species.
Black bear poaching is also another major concern in California. CDF&G also wants to expand the land where black bears can be legally hunted. By doing so, this welcomes poachers to greater area in which to kill bears. The legalization of GPS equipment and tree switches would also help poachers claim more bears lives and fuel the black market for their gall bladders and paws.
The use of dogs to track bears is a losing situation for many dogs as well. This should be outlawed. It is common for bears to injure and/or kill entire packs of dogs. Sows with cubs are known to be extremely dangerous and are illegal to take, yet dogs continue to pursue them. In one case, a female with three cubs fought with dogs for over 10 minutes before the hunter called his dogs off because they were getting hurt. Two weeks later, the same sow was pursued again and fought with the dogs before that hunter called them off too. Using dogs is cruel to both bears and dogs.
For more information, please contact Melissa@idausa.org