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Public meeting in Deltona will seek input on bear plan

News Release

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Media contact: Joy Hill, 352-732-1225

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) is holding its second public workshop for input on a draft plan that will ensure a sustainable and socially acceptable Florida black bear population throughout the state. The meeting is Wednesday, Sept. 8 at 6 p.m. in Deltona City Hall, 2345 Providence Road, Deltona, in Volusia County.

The first meeting was held in late August in Apalachicola; other meeting dates will be announced as arrangements are finalized.

"The plan proposes a framework to manage bears at the local level," said Dave Telesco, the FWC's bear management coordinator. "This includes conserving appropriate amounts of bear habitat, stabilizing the level of complaints about bears, and securing adequate funding to implement the plan.

FWC staff drafted the Bear Management Plan with assistance from a technical advisory group that included representatives from environmental, hunting and government organizations.

The Florida black bear is a state-threatened species whose populations are expanding in some areas and but still quite restricted in others.  Because of this variability, the plan proposes to create several bear management units, which will consider specific challenges and characteristics of the different geographical locations.

The plan sets up broad objectives under which each bear management unit would operate. Within those units, local stakeholder groups will work with the FWC to set management objectives and standards for resolving human-bear conflicts. If the plan is accepted, the next stage would be to recruit stakeholders to participate in advisory groups within each bear management unit.

At the meetings, FWC will give a brief presentation outlining the plan objectives and take questions from attendees.  Anyone attending the meetings interested in making statements about the plan will be able to do so verbally or through written comment cards.

"We encourage the public and local governments to help us improve this draft and develop the final plan," Telesco said. "Feedback is essential to make this plan effective." 

The draft plan is available online for public review and comment at http://share2.myfwc.com/BearMP/default.aspx.  For more information on Florida black bears, go to MyFWC.com/Bear.



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Boats less than 16 feet long must carry at least 3 visual distress signals approved for nighttime use whenever they are on coastal waters from sunset to sunrise.

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