Nov. 29 workshop to discuss black bear conservation in South Fla.
Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Media contact: Carli Segelson, 772-215-9459; Gary Morse, 863-648-3852
A draft plan to ensure a sustainable Florida black bear
population will be presented by the Florida Fish and Wildlife
Conservation Commission (FWC) at a Nov. 29 public workshop in
Members of the public from throughout South Florida are invited
to the workshop, which will include a staff presentation on the
FWC's draft bear management plan. Attendees will have the
opportunity to ask questions, speak or complete a brief survey on
the plan. The workshop begins at 6 p.m. at the Rookery Bay National
Estuarine Research Reserve, 300 Tower Road.
"We encourage people interested in conserving the Florida black
bear to attend this workshop on the draft bear management plan,"
said Dave Telesco, the FWC's bear management program coordinator.
"Public involvement is essential to making this plan effective in
conserving Florida's largest land mammal for future
Seven bear management units (BMUs), including a South BMU that
contains the black bear population in Big Cypress National
Preserve, are proposed in the draft plan. The BMUs will allow
the FWC to manage bears in a way tailored by local input and the
specific characteristics of both bear and human populations in
"Bear Smart Communities" also would be created in areas of high
bear activity to involve residents, local governments, businesses
and schools in changing people's behaviors to reduce human-bear
The draft bear
management plan is available at MyFWC.com/Bear, where the public can comment
online on the plan through Jan. 10, 2012. Comments can also be sent
to FWC, 620 South Meridian St. 6A, Tallahassee, FL 32399. The draft
plan and a summary of public input will go before the Commission at
its February 2012 meeting, but a final decision on the plan will
not take place until a later meeting.
The public workshop in Naples is one of four being held across
the state. The first was in Bristol on Nov. 22, and others are
scheduled for DeLand on Dec. 6 and Gainesville on Dec. 13. For more
information on the workshops, go to MyFWC.com/Bear.